SGI is rolling out its Ice Cube Air modular data center, a solution designed to give enterprises a cost-efficient and eco-friendly way to expand the capacity of their facilities.
SGI is unveiling a modular data center
offering that lets enterprises build capacity as needed and cool the IT
environment using outside air or water from a hose rather than air conditioning
units or chilled water.
is showing off the Ice Cube Air on the floor of the Gartner Data Center
Conference Dec. 6-8 in Las Vegas.
Ice Cube Air is designed to be an inexpensive option for enterprises looking to
add capacity to data centers that are reaching capacity who don't want to spend
the money or time to add onto the facilities in the traditional ways, according
to Bill Mannel, vice president of product marketing at SGI.
also a complement to SGI's Ice Cube
containerized mobile data center, which the company has been selling for
several years, Mannel said in an interview with eWEEK.
allows us to extend our Ice Cube product line into new areas," he said.
the Ice Cube modular center is good for customers who need mobile
solutions-Mannel pointed the military as an example in this area-Ice Cube Air
is designed more for businesses that are looking for cost-effective ways to
expand the capacity of their data centers. The solutions are available
goal is to give enterprises a cost-effective way to grow their data center
capacity while driving down power consumption. SGI's
Ice Cube Air offerings come in three sizes, the smallest being an 8-foot-long
container that can fit up to four server racks. That model starts at $99,000,
and enterprises can link four of these offerings to get up to 16 server racks.
Businesses also can buy a 20-foot Ice Cube Air, which can fit 10 server racks,
and a solution that brings two 20-foot containers together.
containers can come with SGI equipment
inside, or enterprises can put third-party systems inside, Mannel said. SGI
will set up the containers and service them.
wanted to create very cost-efficient solutions," Mannel said.
cooling capabilities are a key part of cutting costs. Using outside air
is becoming an increasingly popular eco-friendly and inexpensive way to cool
data centers. During times of the year when the outside air isn't cool enough,
enterprises can use an evaporative cooling system or a traditional chiller
system as backups.
in an Ice Cube Air container makes the most sense economically
and environmentally, Mannel said. A fresh air cooled container has a PUE (Power
Usage Effectiveness) mark of 1.06. PUE is a ratio for measuring how much of the
total power coming into the facility actually reaches the data center
equipment, rather than being used for cooling systems or other ancillary
reasons. The lower the number, the most energy efficient the data center. Most
traditional data centers have PUEs of 1.4 or more, Mannel said.
offer containerized data centers
, a trend kicked off when Sun Microsystems
introduced its Project BlackBox almost four years ago. System makers range from
Hewlett-Packard and IBM to Dell, Cisco
Systems and CirraScale (formerly Verari Systems). Analysts have said that while
such offerings will remain a niche, they expect steady
growth in the market
, with shipments of 300 or more by 2013.
said that while Ice Cube Air is being marketed at enterprises, SMBs will see
advantages in using the containers.
got a broad appeal," he said. "Where [an SMB] may have done something
differently, they will now spend $99,000" on an entire data center.