Over the years, commercial off-the-shelf hardware (COTS) has been prioritized over customized platforms because of the perceived cost benefits. This decision may work for many setups, with a variety of applications from accounting to wagering successfully running on x86 servers. However, there are a number of scenarios where this trade off just isn’t worth it. Here are two reasons why you may want to consider moving to a purpose-built platform that is application ready –
When Performance Anxiety becomes a Real Thing
Nielson’s Law of Internet Bandwidth suggests that the connection speed of high-end users is growing by 50% each year. The need for comprehensive analysis of internet traffic is rapidly going up with the rise in newer technologies such as Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and the subsequent emergence of threats.
Simply put, our need to pursue deeper internet traffic inspections is growing at a faster pace than the COTS computing capabilities. Especially for vendors delivering security solutions, the traditional COTS server platforms do not suffice for the growing needs. Opting for a purpose-built hardware solution is a great way to acquire the right processing power along with the right pattern matching solutions in the form of on-chip accelerators for crypto and search applications. By choosing a purpose built hardware solution, you will be able to minimize headaches due to bottlenecks and also enjoy a cost benefit in the long run.
When Space is Precious
While COTS products offer a variety of combinations of products to meet a variety of needs, the benefit of cost and density isn’t necessarily a viable one. Opting for COTS solutions with a variety of CPU, memory and storage configurations force developers to compromise on size and density. A server and a switch stacked together often take up a minimum of 2 rack-units of space and sometimes even more depending on the exact configuration. Rack space is extremely precious, which therefore presents the need to look into customized solutions which offer rack-mount servers with integrated switch packages. One needs to find a solution that is compact, dense, and powerful at the same time, capable of managing the next-generation applications with ease.
Standardized solutions can be challenging to work with, especially since making them “work” as per your needs is a time consuming process. Furthermore COTS solutions are designed to cater to the middle segment of the market, providing rather straightforward features. They do not cater to unconventional permutations of different technologies that marry the best features to create an impeccable solution. Top tier performance can be achieved only by combining the right technologies from more than one vendor, an occurrence that is almost unheard of in the world of COTS products.