Thecus this week celebrated the 2-year anniversayr of its "groundbreaking" SATA-based 1U4500 rackmount storage server by introducing the 1U4600 rackmount NAS.
The company claims this follow-up Act is built for speed, and towards that end it comes equipped with an Intel Celeron processor and 1GB of DDR memory. Multiple 1U4600 units can be accessed by a master system, and it comes with support for RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, and JBOD.
"Enterprises need superior storage at a price that fits within budget, and the newly updated 1U4600 meets these requirements," said Florence Shih, Thecus General Manager. "With multiple redundancies and superior performance built-in, the 1U4600 sets the new standard in powerful yet versatile enterprise storage."
Other features include a dual DOM design, 250W redundant power supply, and the ability to use the 1U4600 in NAS, DAS, or iSCSI mode.
The Power7 processor is for server use. It has 1.2 billion transistors, and up to eight cores. Each core can run up to four threads simultaneously, allowing 32 parallel tasks. Each chip comes with 8GB of embedded DRAM per core, which eliminates the need for a separate L3 cache chip. Throughput is four times great than that of the Power6 chip. And, each system can be divided into as many as 1,000 virtual systems running multiple operating systems. (Sorry, Windows is not one of those operating systems.)
As you’d expect, this type of power doesn’t come cheap. An entry level Power 750 Express system costs in the neighborhood of $34,000. No word on what the top-of-the-line Power 780 system costs, but with eight 4.1GHz quad-core units, 2TB of DDR3 RAM, and 24 SSDs, it's pricing won't be for the faint-of-heart.
IBM earlier this week lifted the wraps on its new Power7 systems designed for a range of applications, including smart electrical grids and real-time analytics for financial institutions, the company said.
The Power7-based servers have been optimized to chew through huge workloads of simultaneous transactions, data handling, analysis, and other related tasks. And according to IBM, customers can expect "dramatic improvements" in the price-to-performance ratios, as well as energy savings and server virtualization. More specifically, IBM claims its new systems can deliver four times the performance and four times the virtualization capability as its predecessor for the same price.
There are four new systems in all, including the IBM Power 750 Express for mid-market clients, IBM Power 755 with 32 Power7 cores, IBM Power 770 modular enterprise system with up to 64 Powe7 cores, and the IBM Power 780, "a new category of scalable, high-end servers, featuring an advanced modular design with up to 64 Power7 cores."
Intel this week officially introduced its new Itanium 9300 processor series, which you may recognize by its codename, Tukwila. According to Intel, the 9300 series chips more than double the performance of its predecessor, while also boosting both scalability and reliability.
"Intel is committed to delivering a new era of mission-critical computing, and we are delighted 80 percent of Global 100 companies have chosen Itanium-based servers for their most demanding workloads,"said Kirk Skaugen, vice president Intel Architecture Groupand general manager Data Center Group. "Intel is continuing to drive the economics of Moore's Law into mission-critical computing with today's Itanium 9300 processor announcement, more than doubling performance for our customers once again."
Intel added that OEM systems based on the Itanium 9300-series will be binary-compatible with existing software, giving customers a big performance boost without needing any additional software optimizations.
Prices for the new chips range from $946 to $3,838 in quantities of 1,000.
Seagate on Tuesday said it has begun shipping what it claims is the "world's highest-capacity, most reliable small form factor enterprise drive," the Savvio 10K.4 HDD. As the model number suggests, this one spins at 10,000 RPM, but don't get too excited desktop denizens, this 600GB drive is destined for servers.
"Our customers face challenging storage needs requiring the most efficient use of space and power while maintaining the highest performance possible," said Howard Shoobe, senior manager, Dell Storage Product Management. "The new 2.5-inch 10K-rpm 600GB capacity point allows a doubling of capacity within the same rack space of current 3.5-inch 15K 600GB drives while increasing overall system-level performance and decreasing power usage."
The Savvio drives also come with either a 6Gbps SAS interface with dual-port communication, or a direct 4Gbps Fiber Channel connection. Other specs include 16MB of cache, a 4.6W power draw when idle, and various data protection and power saving features Seagate claims "can reduce the total cost of ownership to IT organizations and administrators."
AMD has had enough of sitting on the sidelines, at least when it comes to GPUs in the mainstream server market. So come 2012, the No. 2 chip maker says it plans to put a bigger focus on integrating graphics processor cores into this market segment.
The idea of combining graphics processors and CPUs in servers is one that's going to catch on in a big way, believes Gina Longoria, director of the product management and workstation division at AMD. According to Longoria, the company could end up providing CPUs and GPUs together in a server to run highly parallel applications.
"As GPU becomes more relevant, that's a better way of getting performance than [CPU] cores," Longoria said.
Even with this recognition and goal to push CPU-GPU use in mainstream servers, at least one analyst thinks AMD could be doing more.
"I'm glad they are addressing the market, but perhaps they should push ahead and develop the market more," said Dan Olds, principal analyst at Gabriel Consulting Group. " Olds went on to point out how Nvidia aggressively pushes its software and hardware for heterogenous computing, while AMD has so far been content to remain more of a spectator.
Following a series of delays, Intel has finally begun revenue shipments of its "Tukwila" processor, the codename for its newest Itanium chip.
According to Intel, Tukwila more than the doubles the performance of its predecessor, while also adding a "range of new scalability, reliability, and virtualization features," the chip maker stated in a blog post.
Tukwila's official launch will likely come on February 8, the same day Intel is scheduled to hold a press conference alongside representatives from Hewlett-Packard's business-critical servers unit in its software business. No other OEM implements more Itanium parts than HP, who uses them to power its Integrity systems and NonStop servers.
Intel says that Tukwila will be the first of several announcements slated for the first half of this year as the company looks to make a "major push" into the server processor arena.
The $600,000 made-to-order rack consists of a 20ft x 8ft x 8ft IT system that's fully enclosed, portable, and ready to run. The frame can hold 10 racks of servers, storage, and switching hardware, along with hookups for air, water, and electrical power throughput as needed, eWeek.com reports.
"There are a lot of companies that don't need anywhere near 22 racks," said Jean Brandau, HP Product Manager. "So this 10-rack POD gives them a good choice."
HP said the price doesn't include IT, so companies will need to set aside separate funds for hardware and software. However, the OEM said it can build a POD to request and have it tested and running for workloads in about six weeks.
In a move sure to make Dell's investors happy, the OEM said it plans to siphon off a portion of its custom servers designed by its Data Center Solutions division for large Web entities like Facebook and Ask.com, and sell them to large enterprises who perhaps don't need thousands of servers every year.
"What we've found is, there are a whole bunch of other customers who want access to those designs but who are not buying in those types of quantities," said Andy Rhodes, a director with Dell's DCS group. "So the big thing we're solving now, and we'll talk more publicly about over the next couple of months, is how to provide more of that capability to many, many more customers."
Some of those custom servers will eventually be turned into standardized products ready to be sold to comparatively smaller firms, as well as smaller Internet companies. According to reports, these will be included under a new brand called CloudEdge.
"The markets we're looking at are people building public clouds, but one tier below what we've been focusing on," said Barton George, cloud evangelist for Dell.
Most Maximum PC readers probably associate MSI with motherboards first and netbooks second, but it's the company's server and industrial PC (IPC) businesses the company's banking on to push profits up to a 50 percent on-year growth.
According to MSI's company chairman Joseph Hsu, MSI still managed to make a profit in 2009, despite a significant drop in its server business. With the tech sector looking up in 2010, Hsu expects a big turnaround in 2010.
And it's not just mobos and graphics cards for the IPC industry, either. MSI, some would be surprised to learn, also dabbles in developing medical devices and point of sale (POS) systems, both of which Hsu expects to play a big part in the company's 2010 revenue.