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What Data Center Designers Can Learn From Legos

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the my-20-month-old-could-teach-them dept.

The Internet 210

1sockchuck writes "It takes most companies at least a year to build a new data center. Digital Realty Trust says it can build a new data center in just 20 weeks using standard designs and modular components that can be assembled on site. The company equates its 'building blocks' approach to data centers to building with Legos — albeit with customized parts (i.e. the Millennium Falcon Lego kit). Microsoft is taking a similar approach, packaging generators, switchgear and UPS units into pre-assembled components for rapid assembly. Is this the future of data center design?"

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More Present Than Future ... (4, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858745)

Is this the future of data center design?

I'm going to assume you're talking very very large data centers here as it wouldn't make sense to streamline this for a few "blocks." But I think this is an already pretty pervasive idea. Why, we have already talked about Google's ideas on server 'blocks' [slashdot.org] and data 'pod' [slashdot.org] technology for their sharded databases. While I'm not sure if this high level design inherently affects relational databases negatively, it sure seems to be the future of data centers.

Google's strategy sounds even more like homogeneous Lego blocks than either of the two article's solutions.

Re:More Present Than Future ... (1)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859309)

I was looking at how to do something similar, using a combination of VMWare (http://www.vmware.com/), Symmetrix V-MAX (http://www.emc.com/products/detail/hardware/symmetrix-v-max.htm) and then just some template 'blade centre' style enclosures, such as HP's Proliant series.
Now, the V-MAX at least is a bit new to have seen it in the field much, but it would seem there's definitely some scope for the 'linearly scalable' building block data centre - by decoupling the VMs from the physical hardware, you get some impressive scalability.

Re:More Present Than Future ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27859577)

lol

Legos (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27858783)

The plural of "lego" is "lego".

Re:Legos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27858865)

And it is LEGO, not lego

Re:Legos (1)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859049)

Also, it's LEGO bricks or LEGO pieces, or LEGO .

Re:Legos (0, Redundant)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859219)

Plus it's LEGO parts or LEGO components or LEGO units or LEGO bits or...

Re:Legos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27858883)

Next, you will be saying some weird things like singular deer to plural is deer, or fish is fish.

1 Lego brick, 2 Lego bricks (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859043)

1 moose, 2 moose. 1 sheep, 2 sheep. 1 aircraft, 2 aircraft. 1 head of cattle, 2 head of cattle.[1] 1 bison, 2 bison, M.Bison [wikipedia.org] . Or pretty much every word in Japanese or Chinese. But trademarks are adjectives, and in English, adjectives generally precede nouns. So the plural of "Lego brick" is "Lego bricks".

[1] "Head of cattle" is a precise epicene (gender-neutral) word for what is commonly called a "bull" or "cow".

Re:1 Lego brick, 2 Lego bricks (4, Funny)

Da Fokka (94074) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859487)

So IPod is an adjective? I am no native speaker but that doesn't sound right (but then again, neither do the IPod earphones)

Re:1 Lego brick, 2 Lego bricks (2, Informative)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859731)

Proper adjective [wikipedia.org] :

A trademark is a distinctive sign used by a business to identify its products to consumers. When a trademark is a word used adjectivally, it is capitalized and hence is a proper adjective. Intellectual property lawyers sometimes advise corporations to use their trademarks only as proper adjectives, not as proper nouns. By this theory, a trademark is not the name of a product, but rather a signifier of the source of the product.

For example, in the sentence "I need to blow my nose; do you have any Kleenex?", the word Kleenex is a proper noun, used to name the product being discussed. This is perfectly acceptable English usage, from a grammatical perspective. It would also be acceptable to say, "I need to blow my nose; do you have any Kleenex facial tissue?", where the word Kleenex is a proper adjective. The Kimberly-Clark Corporation (which owns the trademark Kleenex) takes care to use the word only as a proper adjective. The legal risk is that a trademark used as a noun can become genericized, in which case other businesses could legally use the word to refer to their products. This happened to the word "elevator", for example, which used to be a trademark but is now a common noun.

Re:1 Lego brick, 2 Lego bricks (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859539)

But trademarks are adjectives

Except zipper and kleenex and uggs and coke and big mac and...

Re:1 Lego brick, 2 Lego bricks (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27859589)

I do have to admit that it is hard to get a joke sometimes.

Re:Legos (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859065)

Actually, what's really sad, I've seen the use of "fishes" a LOT in technical writing in the environmental/ecological sciences.

It makes me cry.

Re:Legos (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27859133)

fishes is correct for multiple species of fish.
fish is correct for multiple fish of a single species. ... but cry away, if you must.

Re:fishes (1)

Grax (529699) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859207)

As long as they aren't sleeping with them.

Re:Legos (1)

ThrowAwaySociety (1351793) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859217)

You know what's worse? I've seen it in actual dictionaries.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fish [merriam-webster.com]

Re:Legos (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859689)

ain't is in there as well. Up until fairly recent time, it was not considered a word.

Re:Legos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27859379)

Next, you will be saying some weird things like singular deer to plural is deer, or fish is fish.

I don't know about any of that, but I do know that the plural of "moose" is "meese".

Re:Legos (2, Funny)

geobeck (924637) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859637)

I don't know about any of that, but I do know that the plural of "moose" is "meese".

I think you're confusing that with the plural of 'mouse', which everyone of a certain age knows is 'meeses'.

Re:Legos (1)

emm-tee (23371) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859099)

The plural of "lego" is "lego".

Not exactly. LEGO is the name of a product group, like Meccano or Erector.

There's no such thing "a Meccano" or "an Erector", or "a LEGO". Therefore there are no "Meccanos", "Erectors" or "LEGOs".

There are Meccano and Erector sets, pieces, models. There are LEGO sets, bricks, models etc.

Re:Legos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27859119)

No, Its Legos. Its referring to Roger Legos. He is an architect and technology consultant for the U.N.

Re:Legos (1)

andrikos (1114853) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859177)

The plural of l-ego is l-nos!

Re:Legos (2, Insightful)

Grax (529699) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859199)

I played with Legos when I was a kid and my kids play with Legos now. They don't play with "Lego" as they think that refers to a single modular building brick.

I know a lot of other kids that play with Legos that don't have the time or inclination to say they play with "Lego", "Lego bricks", "Lego playsets", or "Lego compatible modular building playsets". They just play with Legos.

Re:Legos (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859407)

Also the metaphor of generic bricks to build anything wouldn't work today. The kits are all custom; a lego bat plane, lego race car, lego helicopter, etc. They include custom parts as well as the generic bricks.

It's a shame really, instead of being an imaginative open process it has become following the instructions to make the model in the right way. Having said that my kids will do this once and then combine bits from the various kits and use them in the good old way to make something entirely different.

Re:Legos (1)

Grax (529699) | more than 5 years ago | (#27860057)

We just have buckets of bricks they can use to make something up. I agree, having a "right" way to assemble a Lego model is silly and defeats the purpose.

Re:Legos (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859927)

When I was a kid, we had to dig up the pavers if we wanted to play with bricks. Now, get off my lawn!

Re:Legos (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859215)

Can someone explain the different rules used by American English?

The "legos" plural form is a good example, but how about the use of mixed tense in a single sentence like "Did you brush your teeth yet?"

The different pronunciation rules are interesting as well. For example, in most English speaking countries Iraq is "ee-rack" but in the US it's "Eye-rack". Another good example is 'solder', in standard English "sol-der" but in American "sod-er" (silent "l").

Re:Legos (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27859285)

No.

Re:Legos (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859471)

I think "Sod-er" is how I have never heard that word pronounced. I live in the US. Maybe in this one case it's your ears that are the problem.

you can just sod off with your (0, Troll)

eean (177028) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859549)

"standard" English. :)

Modern American English has as much right to be considered standard: its dictionaries are just as old, its history just as deep, its evolution from 17th century English no greater.

I'm guessing British people get up in arms about whats "standard" since half their country doesn't speak anything like standard. The US does have its share of accents, but the ones in Britain are far more divergent and widespread. So get your own house in order before you start declaring that you own the standard.

Re:you can just sod off with your (1)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859857)

Independance was declared in 1776. The first English dictionary was published in 1755.

Re:you can just sod off with your (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859909)

By "standard" I mean the standard rules of spelling and pronunciation, either British or American.

To be fair, English is a horribly inconsistent language. Most common verbs are irregular. Rules they teach you at school like "i before e except after c" have lots of exceptions etc.

You are of course right about the very strong accents we have here, but at least I can explain them in terms of rules.

Re:Legos (2, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859575)

Can someone explain the different rules used by American English?

Absolutely not.

Re:Legos (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859787)

Standard english? That's a new one to me.

Over here, one speaks the Queen's english. If you wish to speak correctly, copy the Queen.

If you want to talk like a Yank, raise your voice, raise it again, add some twang and use a lot of TLAs.

And it's Lego by the way. Anyone saying different is just being difficult. As for the single block argument: one'er, two'er, eight'er, flat-eight...

Re:Legos (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27859871)

We believe the Queen is wrong on principle (as all Kings and Queens are; that's why we have Presidents). Thus, if you wish to speak correctly, don't copy the Queen. In fact, behave in a manner as contrary to the Queen's as is practical.

Re:Legos (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 5 years ago | (#27860151)

The Queen's English is not standard. Standard English is what the BBC news presenters (used to) use. Approximately 3 words per second, largely accent free delivery.

Re:Legos (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859839)

English speaking countries Iraq is "ee-rack" but in the US it's "Eye-rack"

This reminds me of a sign in an antique store: "You break it you bought it"

I guess that means we get to name it, too.

Re:Legos (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 5 years ago | (#27860115)

That was pretty funny, and also missing a comma :)

Actually, misusing the comma must be the most common English mistake. "Eats, shoots and leaves" is the classic example.

Re:Legos (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859941)

I thought of another good one: "I could care less". Seems to be the American version of "I couldn't care less", with the same meaning but appearing to say exactly the opposite.

Re:Legos (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859971)

That's sarcasm. Welcome to America, enjoy your stay.

officially its an adjective (4, Informative)

eean (177028) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859389)

If you look at the website:
http://www.lego.com/eng/info/default.asp?page=fairplay [lego.com]

Of course if its an adjective then "legos" is nonsense.

In common usage it is in fact a noun: the OED defines "Lego" as a noun. The plural of a noun has an 's', with the handful of well-established exceptions.

Who decided that LEGO was an exception? Not the LEGO Group who say its only an adjective. So I think its the fact that the LEGO Group never says "LEGOs" (since they always uses it as an adjective) caused misguided pedantic people (or otherwise any lover of arbitrary rules) to decide that its a plural noun.

So put me in the legos camp. :)

Re:Legos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27859459)

The point is that (except apparently in the US) you don't use the plural, as lego is a mass noun: some lego, more lego, other lego, stuff made of lego. You'd only use the plural in constructions like "of the various legoes on the market, the original is the most durable".

Re:Legos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27859543)

Maybe technically, but that sounds stupid.

Re:Legos (1)

ndnspongebob (942859) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859567)

no, its legi

Re:Legos (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859701)

The plural of lego is legos. The common usage of the term defines what the plural tense is, not the marketing department of the Lego company.

Re:Legos (3, Insightful)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859841)

The plural of "lego" is "lego".

The distinction only matters to trademark lawyers, because to "protect" their trademark they would argue that there's no such thing as a "Lego" noun, only an adjective.

The rest of us non-pedants don't give a shit and call them Legos, because in everyday English each individual brick is an individual Lego. Saying "I built this house out of Lego!" sounds prissy and affected. If you disagree, you ought to look deep inside your personality and consider whether *you* are prissy and affected.

Re:Legos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27860037)

"Saying "I built this house out of Lego!" sounds prissy and affected. "

Actually, it sounds perfectly normal to me.

It's like saying "I built this house out of wood!".

Saying "I built this house out of woods!" seems kinda childish.

No, the future is heavy customization. Psych! (2, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858823)

Someone's going to retort that this is only because America hasn't built a new nuke power plant in ages, but the fact of the matter is that nuke power in Canada and France is reliable, efficient, and cheap because they have settled on a standard plant design. Contrast this with the fully customized design for each American nuke plant and you can see why we still consider nuclear power to be expensive and dangerous.

Extend this to software design. Sure, using standard libraries may mean that you are possibly using a sub-optimal algorithm or pulling in too many unwanted/unused features. But the alternative is to spend a lot of time reinventing the wheel. When it comes down to brass tacks, the cost spent to optimize software pales in comparison to the cost of delaying the product.

Use your time wisely.

Enviro-left and the media too ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27858955)

Well, that and the environut chicken littles that scream about 3-Mile Island and Chernobyl every time that someone wants to build a new plant here. Nothing like a little media coverage to give a fit of hysteria an air of legitimacy. That might have a bit to do with the whole "dangerous" perception.

Re:No, the future is heavy customization. Psych! (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859397)

For a while, I had feared that you had devolved into mindless trolling, but this post ends all of that, it is a shining example of you living up to your name.

The 'data centre' is obsolete for most users (0)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858855)

Why on earth would you want to build a data centre? Moore's Law means that most functions that previously required arrays of expensive hardware can be done with a single server. If your needs are greater than that, surely it makes sense to buy capacity from a cloud computing vendor such as Amazon EC2. Only the really big players like Amazon and Google (and perhaps places that need lots of computing power, like research departments, movie studios and universities) need to bother with huge, air-conditioned rooms and all that.

I know I'm playing devil's advocate here and the number of computers needed to run a business never seems to fall in practice. But although data centres are certainly needed now, do they really have a 'future'?

Re:The 'data centre' is obsolete for most users (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858971)

Why on earth would you want to build a data centre? Moore's Law means that most functions that previously required arrays of expensive hardware can be done with a single server.

Needs expand with available capacity.

If your needs are greater than that, surely it makes sense to buy capacity from a cloud computing vendor such as Amazon EC2.

If the data processing is central to your business, it doesn't make sense to outsource it.

Re:The 'data centre' is obsolete for most users (1)

Swizec (978239) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858977)

Of course data centers have _a_ future, but probably if an IT tech of today saw a data center of 50 years from now, they wouldn't recognise it as such.

I think a single human brain, connected properly and whatnot, could be used as a server farm. There's multi-threading support aplenty, lots and lots of storage and once you take away the sub-processses like emotion and such, there's even an abundance of computing power. Therefore, the future of data centers is in jars of glass filled with nutritional liquid.

Re:The 'data centre' is obsolete for most users (1)

InsertWittyNameHere (1438813) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859021)

There's also tons of viruses, worms, parasites... Windows Brain Edition?

Re:The 'data centre' is obsolete for most users (1)

nextekcarl (1402899) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859581)

Oh, geez, as if either of those things needed more infection vectors!

Blood-brain firewall is the new blood-brain barrier?

Re:The 'data centre' is obsolete for most users (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859103)

"the number of computers needed to run a business never seems to fall in practice. But although data centres are certainly needed now, do they really have a 'future'?"

You have a good point. The millions it costs to build a datacenter could probably be better spent sending Amazon EC2 hundreds of thousands a month. Instead of having to spend millions more to upgrade in 5 yrs Amazon has already done that.

Course if something were to go wrong and your data is lost or stolen it'd be hard to even get a "sorry" out of Amazon much less compensation, at least if it's local you can fire some people and starve their kids.

Re:The 'data centre' is obsolete for most users (1)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859585)

Moore's Law means that most functions that previously required arrays of expensive hardware can be done with a single server. If your needs are greater than that, surely it makes sense to buy capacity from a cloud computing vendor such as Amazon EC2.

This only makes sense if there are significant economies of scale in building larger data centers.

But although data centres are certainly needed now, do they really have a 'future'?

I work for an insurance TPA [wikipedia.org] . We have multiple servers, for different security levels (production, FTP, dev, etc), different OSes (Windows, AIX, Linux), etc. We can't use a "cloud computing" provider because of the legal protection requirements for some of the data we handle, and if that wasn't the case we'd still not be able to because of paranoid clients (like the one that doesn't even like our primary production server, and pays extra for a special dedicated server with lots of extra security rules).

Latency and control (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859655)

Control: putting your sensitive and important information (and applications) in some "cloud" under the control of some other company is a bad idea.

Latency: The speed of light is still only about 300000 kilometres a second, and the actual latencies of remote servers in practice add up to even more (especially when encryption is involved).

Re:The 'data centre' is obsolete for most users (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859763)

Why on earth would you want to build a data centre? Moore's Law means that most functions that previously required arrays of expensive hardware can be done with a single server.

So, I take it your plan is to go into the future, and bring back servers to do today's work with tomorrow's resources? We've always managed to find new ways to use up computing power in the past, what makes you think the future will differ?

OTOH I figure the future of the data center is more distributed. There's no reason they should be quite as big as they are; their current size only create special infrastructural problems. A number of companies are now dealing in "instant" data centers which could be easily shipped to "remote" locations. How remote? Anywhere along the southern pacific railroad line ought to be a good place to get some bandwidth from Qwest :) Now, correlate that with locations with ready access to power and you're in there.

Re:The 'data centre' is obsolete for most users (1)

ITShaman (120297) | more than 5 years ago | (#27860107)

Um, have you ever worked for a major corporation? I've worked on and seen the (multiple) data centers for Fortune 500 sized companies from banks, airlines, retail, government, and others. The sheer amount of legacy systems, multiple use systems, heterogeneous realities, political and financial realities... All of these necessitate a 'data center'.

Yes, what was called a 'data center' 20 years ago is certainly not what it is today, nor what it will be in 20 more years, but there will always be a need to centralize a certain percentage of computing resources.

Cloud computing is over-hyped, and for various security, political and financial reasons doesn't fit every business model.

It's *lego* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27858875)

Lego is a brandname, not an item, therefore it's an uncountable noun and cannot be a plural. If you mean Lego bricks, then use Lego bricks, not Legos. Bloody Americans, they'll be misspelling data centre next. Oh, wait...

This has been a broadcast on behalf of pedants everywhere.

Re:It's *lego* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27859205)

I've only ever heard people say. "I'm building something with legos", I've never heard "I'm building something with LEGO bricks." LEGO might not like the term, but it is the more common usage. I don't want the job of going around telling kids that they're using the wrong word to refer to their toys.

Re:It's *lego* (1)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859361)

Stupid parents correlates to stupid children. Who'da thought it?

Why not for computers as well? (1)

pieterh (196118) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858895)

I had this idea ages ago: computer blocks, which could plug together. Storage, processors, media, PSUs, batteries, interfaces... just bricks that you stack together using some universal power-and-data bus connector on each plug (imagine Lego blocks about eight inches long).

Re:Why not for computers as well? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27859081)

What would plugging a "storage" block into a "processor" block do? We have different connectors for the lower-level components of a computer because they all have different requirements and there is no reason in having them connectable in different ways - in fact having the same connector type for all would be unnecessarily confusing. There are already standards for each basic grouping of component (eg. for storage: PATA for a couple of decades, now SATA). For higher-level components/peripherals we do have a universal connector, it's called USB. Maybe you've heard of it?

Re:Why not for computers as well? (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859143)

Congratulations, you've invented a variation on the S-100 bus [wikipedia.org] .

Now with the ability to do external PCI express, this could be reasonably possible again, maybe. I'd think you'd have big signal integrity problems.

Re:Why not for computers as well? (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859201)

"computer blocks, which could plug together. Storage, processors, media, PSUs, batteries, interfaces... just bricks that you stack together"

Thermaltake has a new modular case that is similar to that. [techpowerup.com]

Re:Why not for computers as well? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859479)

After seeing 2001 and 2010 I envisioned the same thing, but I imagined them being powered by induction and optical data connections. That way they're waterproof. Today I would probably also imagine in some water connections for cooling — all the liabilities thereof vanish when you're not using electrical connections. Some twenty years later, we're still using copper-fingered plastic sockets :(

Lego is not new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27858931)

Lego system is not new and innovating. It has pluses and minuses. for likes of computer centers it probably has more pluses. It's cheap, quick and effective. as far as I know anyway.
Ability to add certain parts into building itself could be new approach, but nothing revolutionary so far. Having built in into wall microwave is not new either.

If this is innovative... (1)

ndnspongebob (942859) | more than 5 years ago | (#27858987)

If this is innovative, datacenters will be failing to impress for a long time

Re:If this is innovative... (1)

click2005 (921437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859163)

In other news another company is designing data centres based on Velcro.

Works for Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27858989)

They use building-block server modules - each with a built-in battery backup.

lego in the plural (5, Insightful)

Speare (84249) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859011)

I saw the "legonotlegos" tag on this story. Anyone who has read the paper materials that come with Lego sets knows the language about calling them "Lego(tm) bricks" not "Legos." Yes, the Lego company feels they have to write that in their products, because they have to protect the trademark in order to keep trademark protection in many world markets. However, that does not mean that regular people must actually follow that usage. You wanna call 'em Legos? Go ahead. You want to be the ten millionth middle-manager who tries to explain a business model or operational strategy using toy blocks of a certain name? Go ahead. The metaphor is already cliched, but go ahead. Just like Oreos (not Oreo(tm) cookies), or Kleenexes (not Kleenex(tm) brand facial tissues), people should not feel constrained in how they phrase popular culture references.

Re:lego in the plural (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27859227)

You wanna call 'em Legos? Go ahead.

But only if you want to look like an ignorant twat.

Re:lego in the plural (3, Insightful)

D66 (452265) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859837)

I often find that people who argue detailed semantics are people who have nothing worthwhile to contribute

Re:lego in the plural (5, Insightful)

Xeth (614132) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859515)

But if we can't be pedantic about our specializations, how can we feel superior to the laity?

Re:lego in the plural (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27859735)

You'd have a point if a lego brick was actually called a lego, but it's not, it's called a brick. You can have an oreo or many oreos or a keenex or some kleenexes (although I've never actually heard anyone call them kleenexes). However, Lego is the name of the whole product, not the bricks. Lego has lego sets which contain lego bricks. Calling a lego brick a lego is kind of like calling a house brick a house and lots of house bricks houses. It's not a cultural reference thing it's a basic English grammar thing. Would you call 10 mice 10 mouses? Or 2 houses hice?

PS. The literature with lego sets refers to them as lego bricks because it's the correct name for them and has little to nothing to do with trademark law. The same as Kleenex don't get all uppity if you call their product a tissue or an oreo a biscuit/cookie.

Re:lego in the plural (1)

residieu (577863) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859881)

Yes yes we know. And it's not a band-aid. It's a "Band-aid brand adhesive bandage."

Re:lego in the plural (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859847)

> However, that does not mean that regular people must actually follow that usage.

Slashdot (tm) is not `regular people`. Private Eye magazine (a UK mag) frequently refers to Biros, and always gets a letter from some legal firm complaining it's a trademark and that they have to stop. Typically they just run the whiny legal letter under the heading "what a way to earn a living".

but they can't use that name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27859035)

Wouldn't surprise me if the Lego Group has its lawyers in attack mode as we speak.

"Software IC's" - nope, the Objective C guy trademarked that. Thanks, Brad!

How about "Lincoln Logs Data Centers"?

Enterprise Mindstorms (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859123)

Wouldn't surprise me if the Lego Group has its lawyers in attack mode as we speak.

Then how about actually partnering with Lego Group and calling it "Enterprise Mindstorms"?

How convenient... (1)

cmdr_klarg (629569) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859209)

Wish I could convince the bosses that I needed the $500 Millennium Falcon Lego kit for work...

Re:How convenient... (1)

click2005 (921437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859313)

The Millennium Falcon was unique. Not only could it travel faster than light, it could travel faster than length!!!

It travelled 18 parsecs in less than 12 parsecs. Thats compression of physical space of over 33%. Just imagine a data center
where you could fit 19 inch rack mount cabinets in a 13 inch space or 56U in a 42U cabinet.

Nah.. my boss didnt believe me either.

Re:How convenient... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27859785)

It did the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs. the standard Kessel run is 18 parsecs, but he did it because he was able to get closer to the Maw black hole (because of how fast the ship was). Thus, allowing him to refer to speed in a unit of length.

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Kessel_Run

Re:How convenient... (1)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859931)

I love the gymnastics they went through to cover up the fact that when shooting the original, no one knew what a parsec was, and it just sounded cool.

Re:How convenient... (2, Insightful)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859953)

It sounded even cooler after the explanation.

I mean, c'mon... skimming the event horizon of a black hole? That's not cool?

Re:How convenient... (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859795)

According to the story, that was because of space-time compression due to the close proximity of numerous black holes.

Re:How convenient... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27859381)

It is actually on sale at shop.lego.com for $374.99

Re:How convenient... (1)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859603)

Clearly it's a custom server housing for optimized airflow which'll lead to a net decrease in cooling requirements across the datacentre. And you need one as a functional prototype, rather than forking out that scale of investment per rack initially, so you can validate whether it will actually save your company money long term.

customized parts? (1)

tuffy (10202) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859475)

The Millennium Falcon Lego kit is made up almost entirely of generic pieces - triangles, rectangles, Technic-style crossbars, and so on. The only nonstandard bits in it are the bendable engine grills and the minifigs.

Obligatory Pedant (1)

sukotto (122876) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859687)

You should say "Lego Bricks", not "Legos".
"Lego" is the name of the company.

Legolas? (1)

AioKits (1235070) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859693)

Maybe this is what they were meaning instead? For a low fee one of the elves of Lord of the Rings will personally assist you in the construction and improvement of your data center!

dragon_magistrate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27859749)

FYI it's e.g. not i.e.

Re:dragon_magistrate (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859919)

Good call.

Wow, 50 posts about legos (4, Insightful)

3.5 stripes (578410) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859849)

And two about data centers.

News for nerds, or news for obsessive man children?

Demand matters (3, Interesting)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 5 years ago | (#27859921)

"The company equates its "building blocks" approach to data centers to building with Legos -- albeit with customized parts (i.e. the Millennium Falcon Lego kit). Microsoft is taking a similar approach, packaging generators, switchgear and UPS units into pre-assembled components for rapid assembly. Is this the future of data center design?"

It only makes sense to maintain the infrastructure to build the building blocks so long as data centers are being rolled out at a furious pace - something that cannot continue forever.

I suspect the 'Lego' builders are betting on vendor lock-in to feed the bottom line over the long term. Once you buy their bricks, you're pretty much stuck with their interface and thus will be coming back to them for upgrades and renovation.

Stop, dammit! (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 5 years ago | (#27860065)

Will someone please talk about data centers?

Re:Stop, dammit! (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#27860217)

Sure. They're like LEGO, right?

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