There’s a heavyweight battle being fought over data centre dominance, with Google, IBM, and Rackspace teaming up against Intel. Ultimately, the winner will be us.

Google is partnering with Rackspace Hosting, one of the largest cloud providers in the world, to develop new hyperscale server designs. They’re basing their designs on IBM’s next-generation Power9 processors, which will see the light of day sometime in 2017. With Google using IBM servers in its massive data centres, and others following their lead, Intel should worry.

Today, Intel rules the server chip market with 99 percent market share. Everyone’s been expecting their crown to be challenged for years, but they’ve held on to their monopoly. And we don’t like monopolies, do we? We like choice.

In the data centre world, the money is in the compute components. It’s the more profitable, prestigious opportunity for chip makers, more so than in the memory, storage, and networking spaces. This is where Intel has a stranglehold, and where IBM sees a future. Their new processor will be a big deal over the next few years. The Google-Rackspace project is just a hint of what’s to come.

We’ll know the fight is on when we get word that Google is swapping out its Intel Xeon processors with IBM Power processors. We’ll have to listen carefully though. It will be a much quieter roll-out than the Google self-driving flying car.

Every IT organization wants to become more efficient and cost-effective, and we have companies like Google to lead the innovation work. When they take an active role in creating a next-generation data centre to meet their enormous and exponentially compounding needs, we should have our noses pressed up against the glass.

When the dust settles on this one, and the heavyweights start getting more performance for the price, our enterprises can expect to get faster applications and cheaper cloud services for our hardware dollars.

How do you see your data needs growing over the next three years? How are you going to manage it?