Data Centers Are the New Factories, Making and Moving Bits

October 16th, 2012

The data-center business may seem like something brand new, but in many ways it is really just a virtual version of the traditional container-shipping business, Joyent founder and chief technology officer Jason Hoffman told attendees at GigaOM’s Structure Europe conference on Tuesday morning in Amsterdam. And just as the development of modern container ships and shipping technology disrupted the manufacturing business, data centers and cloud economics are doing the same to digital businesses.

The information bits that make up digital traffic may be virtual, but they live in containers called blocks, words and registers, Hoffman said, and it is rapidly becoming a commoditized industy — and so “we have a very similar model to what we’re doing in any transportation industry, where you put physical goods into containers and put them on container ships.”

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