Rackable Systems Increases Server Density

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2004-08-02 Print this article Print

The Scale Out Server Series offers greater density through its side-by-side and back-to-back designs and with a cooling design that brings air up through the systems and requires no fans.

Rackable Systems Inc., which builds high-density rack-optimized server systems through its unique back-to-back mounting design, is rolling out a new systems model that increases the density. The San Jose, Calif., company on Monday is unveiling its Scale Out Server Series, which can offer greater density through its side-by-side and back-to-back designs and with a cooling design that brings air up through the systems and requires no fans, said CEO Tom Barton. In addition, the system, which is available now, can run on DC power, which can further reduce the amount of heat generated by the systems.
The half-depth chassis enable densities of up to 92 compute nodes—or up to 184 processors—in a rack, more than five times the CPU density of traditional blade servers, Barton said. The company also offers another 10U (11.75 inches) of traditional 19-inch rack-mount space for networking equipment.
The systems will run a variety of processors—Xeon, 64-bit extended Xeon and 64-bit Itanium 2 chips from Intel Corp., and Opteron from Advanced Micro Devices Inc.—and operating systems, including Linux, Solaris x86 from Sun Microsystems Inc. and Windows from Microsoft Corp. Users also can run a variety of best-of-breed management software, Barton said. The cooling design enables Rackable Systems to offer half-depth servers that offer a wide range of processors, which increase the amount of heat they generate as their frequencies grow. About 92 percent of the airflow through the chassis is used to cool the processors. "We didnt want to assume that a one-size-fits-all solution would work in this market," he said. The company is targeting customers who have large-scale deployments of compute-intensive applications—such as digital content creation and image rendering— to run in a high-performance computing environment, such as oil-and-gas companies as well as government agencies. David Graziano, general manager at Meer.net LLC, of Mountain View, Calif., said Rackable Systems focus is on cooling technology. "They are responding to our concerns about power usage and thermal management," said Graziano, who uses Rackable Systems servers in Meer.nets two data centers. "Those are the biggest challenges to data centers. … You are constantly spending on power. Its all about power these days." Check out eWEEK.coms Infrastructure Center at http://infrastructure.eweek.com for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.

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