Servergy, Rex Show Off Power-Efficient Servers at Open Compute Summit

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2014-01-30 Print this article Print

The upcoming 64-bit system will be part of Servergy's new Cleantech Multi-Architecture Platform servers that can be optimized for density for both compute and I/O workloads. Company officials said the new system is being developed now and will be released later this year.

For its part, Rex Computing, which launched last year, showed off its first prototype blade server that includes not only ARM-based chips but also coprocessors developed by Adapteva. The systems are designed to offer greater performance than traditional servers while using significantly less power, according to company officials.

"For decades, the enterprise hardware industry has been dominated by large, established companies with little interest in fixing systemic problems throughout the business," Rex co-founder and CEO Thomas Sohmers said in a statement. "With data centers and cluster computing, these problems are particularly grim: everything from the basic architectures being used, how software is written, and even what racks are used has become a drag on innovation throughout the industry."

The OCP helps startups like Rex Computing by enabling the companies leverage designs created by the consortium as they develop their products, Sohmers said.

Sohmers and co-founder and CTO Kurt Keville are looking to address data center problems around power efficiency, density and scalability by using now only low-power chips, but also energy-efficient, scalable an easy-to-program coprocessors. The company's prototype is created from 16 individual compute nodes, with each node powered by a dual-core Zyng ARM chips from Xilinx that includes an integrated field programmable gate array (FPGA). Each node also includes an Epiphany III coprocessor from Adapteva.

Each node uses less than five watts of electricity, while a full blade consumers less than 150 watts, all while running 32 ARM Cortex-A9 cores and 256 Epiphany coprocessors. The blade fits into a "Torpedo" server chassis designed to the OCP's defined standards, and is one-third the width of a traditional server blade.

At the show, Rex—which was born out of computer cluster work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology—gave participants in the show Open Compute Project Hackathon access to the 16-core "Parallella board" development kits, and allowed them to run their project on the whole 256 Epiphany core blade.

Editor's Note: In October, Servergy released first system in its Cleantech portfolio, the CTS-1000 server, not the CTX-1000 as originally reported.


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