In this new era of Big Data, the term commodity hardware became very common, but it’s up to you to define how to use it. The term commodity hardware in general mean Computer hardware that is affordable and easy to obtain. Typically it is a low-performance system that is PC-compatible and is capable of running Microsoft Windows, Linux, or others operating systems without requiring any special devices or equipment.
Why do we need datacenters with special configurations to be able to run servers 24/7 : ACs, UPS, raised floors, networking, security…etc. While we used to have a desktop computer in every office. Imagine a company having 30 desktop computers having an i7 8cores 4GB ram 500GB hard drives each, that’s the equivalent of a 240 Core super computer with 120GB ram, and 15 TB or storage ! But obviously we don’t use them as servers, because these PCs fail frequently and they are not designed to run 24/7.