Rackable Systems is targeting cloud computing with a high-density server enclosure called the CloudRack C2 that will compete against the likes of the IBM iDataPlex as a solution for the types of dynamic data center some companies are beginning to build. In order to compete, Rackable is looking to offer better power efficiency, high density and the latest Intel and AMD processors, including soon-to-be released chips code-named Nehalem.
is stepping deeper into the emerging field of cloud computing
infrastructure with a server rack cabinet that offers a combination of Advanced
and Intel processors, including newer "Nehalem"
Rackable announced its new CloudRack C2 cabinet earlier this week on March
18. In addition to using up-to-date Intel and AMD
processors, Rackable is looking to push the envelope in terms of both power and
density when it comes to building data centers that support the cloud.
For example, Rackable CEO Mark
Barrenechea said the design of the company's C2 cabinet will allow data centers
to run even hotter.
In this case, the Rackable technology allows the data center to run at up 40
degrees Celsius-104 degrees Fahrenheit-which allows IT managers to use less air
conditioning and less power in the room.
The cabinets are built with hot-swappable fans and Rackable is also
following the lead of other companies such as Sun
Microsystems by incorporating SSDs (solid-state drives) into the individual
server trays to help reduce power and cut down on moving parts,
extends the life of the hardware.
Rackable is using an SSD that Intel
released a few months ago.
The C2 cabinet also allows for better use of power by converting AC current
to 12-volt DC power supplies through hot-pluggable, N+1 rectifiers. This
technology is called Power XE by Rackable. The result is better phase balancing
and more efficient use of power within the data, which can save money, Rackable
"If your power bill is $50 million and we can claim 20 percent of that
back, we have just saved you $10 million," Barrenechea said during an
interview. "We think that this is a bright-line value proposition with our
C2 rack and Power XE technology."
Unlike previous configurations, in the CloudRack C2 Rackable moved all the
power supplies away from the server trays and into the cabinet itself, allowing
the company to cram more technology into the C2, which comes in two sizes: 23U
(40.25 inches) and 46U (80.5 inches).
At the same time, Rackable is also looking to make its C2 cabinet denser. By
moving the heating and power components away from the server trays or chassis,
Rackable is able to pack more than 1,200 processing cores into the cabinet.
In addition to the current crop of quad-core Intel Xeon and AMD
Rackable is planning to offer systems built with Intel's
upcoming "Nehalem EP" processors.
(Intel is expected to release
these chips at the end of March.)
In releasing the C2 and focusing so much energy on power and density,
Rackable is looking to target the offerings coming from some of the bigger
players in the market, such as IBM
and its iDataPlex array.
"We think we have a bright-line advantage when it comes to power
efficiency," Barrenechea said. "Getting to 99 percent efficiency and
phase balancing and running at high temperatures has been a goal of the
industry for many years. We really feel like we're going to be first in the
market with that advantage. We also feel like the C2 is the deal configuration
The Rackable C2 is now available as a made-to-order system. Company
executives declined to discuss specific pricing.