You've probably never heard of SeaMicro before, but if the company was looking to make waves in the media, job well done. That's the sort of thing that happens when you manage to cram 512 Intel Atom processors into a 10U rack mount space.
We're talking about the company's new SM10000 server, which comes equipped with said processors slapped onto miniature motherboards the size of credit cards, according to SeaMicro. As company CEO Andrew Feldman describes it, the multitude of Atom chips can be more power-efficient than x86 chips for certain cloud and Web transaction tasks.
"Today's servers are inefficient on small workloads," Feldmen explains. "Atom turns out to be good at ordinary problems and not great at hard problems. The Internet is all about ordinary problems."
Yet there's nothing ordinary about what SeaMicro has done. Each of the 512 Z530 processors run at 1.6GHz and the whole thing needs just one-quarter of the power and space that a traditional "best-in-class" server would need for the same kinds of workloads, Feldman added.
Due for release by the end of the July, the SM10000 will command $139,000.
Enterprise networking specialist Force10 Networks on Wednesday announced what it claims is the industry's first switch purpose-built for dynamic virtualized datacenter environments.
The new 1RU S60 comes equipped with 48 wire-speed Gigabit Ethernet ports (44 10/100/1000 Base TX and four SFP) and up to four 10 Gigabit Ethernet uplinks for hooking up with core switches, or for stacking.
Other features include support for packet buffer of 1.25GB, an auto-configuration feature to simplify switch provisioning, and the ability to stack up to 12 S60s to be managed as a single logical switch.
The S60 starts at $10,595 and will be available by the end of the month.
Not everything at Computex is geared towards home users, there's plenty of enterprise fodder as well. OCZ is among those spreading the love to the corporate world, starting with the RevoDrive, a bootable PCI-Express based SSD designed for workstations.
High-end gamers with deep pockets will also be interested in the RevoDrive, which boasts read and write speeds that will make your SATA-based SSD crawl in a corner and assume the fetal position. We're talking about 540MB/s read speeds and 530MB/s write speeds, or about double that of performance-oriented SATA-based drives.
"Computex is always a good opportunity to showcase our latest solutions to both our clients and trade press and this year we have a complete range of solid state drive solutions that further push the envelope," commented Ryan Petersen, CEO of the OCZ Technology Group. "At the show we will be demonstrating exciting new products, including a truly affordable PCIe SSD for consumer applications, ultra reliable enterprise drives and a first look at the HSDL (High Speed Data Link) interface that delivers far superior transfer rates over traditional SATA."
According to those on-hand at the convention, the RevoDrive comes equipped with two SandForce SF-1200 controllers. There's also a connection on the middle of the card for future expansion -- purchase one RevoDrive to start with, add a second one later.
OCZ has not yet determined pricing and availability.
NAS devices aren't particularly glamorous, nor are they intended to be, just don't tell that Mvix. That's because Mvix's new HDHome NAS box not only looks sharp, it converges home theater, gaming, and home computing into a single box.
"This high-end, comprehensive system fills a void in the market where users demand versatility and system flexibility. Our customers have been asking us for a device where they can store terabytes of their movie collection and have access to it from anyplace, anywhere. HDHome is a response to such a market feedback." Said VP of Business Development, Mike Mallon.
Mvix said the HDHome is targeted primarily at movie buffs and multi-taskers. By leveraging Windows 7 Media Center, HDHome owners are able to browse tons of Internet TV stations, watch Netflix and Hulu, and share media across the home network, Mvix said.
Hardware-wise, Mvix's flagship product comes with an embedded slot-load Blu-ray player, RAID-enabled, hot-swappable HDD bays, Wireless-N, media card slots, HDMI out, TV Tuner, Intel Atom 330 dual-core (S2) or AMD Athlon 4200+ (S4) processor, 2GB (S2) or 4GB (S4) of DDR2-800 memory, Nvidia ION GPU (S2) or ATI 3200HD graphics (S4), and Windows 7 Home Premium.
Pricing starts at $1,000 for the S2 and $1,600 for the S4.
Taking aim at organizations interested in running scientific and commercial applications on graphics processors, IBM this week updated its iDataPlex servers to now includes GPUs from Nvidia. According to David Turek, vice president of deep computing at IBM's Systems and Technology Group, Nvidia's M2050 GPUs will be faster at executing certain tasks than traditional CPUs.
Some possible clients could include scientific labs run by governments or oil and gas exploration companies where it's common for software to be developed from the ground up, Turek explained. In doing so, these types of organizations can optimize their programs to run faster on GPUs.
Back in 2008, IBM's iDataPlex servers were marketed as a foundation for cloud computing, says Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT. By adding GPUs to the mix, IBM's iDataPlex line sets itself even further apart from the competition.
"This is evidence that IBM is seeing that architecture as being more flexible than a foundation for cloud computing," King said.
So why go with Nvidia over ATI? The expanded use of CUDA, says Turek, who also pointed out the increasing popularity of OpenCL, which is backed by industry heavyweights AMD, Apple, Intel, and Nvidia.
According to reports, Gigabyte will continue supplying Dell with servers throughout the second half of 2010, helping Gigabyte become the third-largest server maker on the planet.
It's been someone of an uphill climb for Gigabyte, which used to serve as a server manufacturing partner for Google before later losing orders to Quanta. By the end of the year, Gigabyte hopes to increase its server revenue from 10-15 percent to somewhere in the vicinity of 20-30 percent.
Despite the increased focus on servers, motherboards remain Gigabyte's bread and butter business. As it currently stands, mobos account for some 65 percent of Gigabyte's revenues, having shipped around 18 million boards in 2009.
Just as abruptly as Oracle had stopped work on a massive data center last year in Salt Lake City, Utah without any explanation, the enterprise software product maker has now resumed work on the project, an Oracle spokeswoman said. When it's finished, the data center will take up some 240,000 square feet and "very likely" cost around $285 million.
Considering Oracle recently scooped up Sun Microsystems and its data centers, resuming construction on the Salt Lake City project indicates the company is pretty serious about expanding its on-demand software business. Oracle only operates a few SaaS (software as a service) business applications, which brought in $779 million in on-demand revenue during the company's fiscal 2009.
Even before construction on the new data center resumed, it was clear where Oracle's focus was headed. The company has been talking up is Fusion Applications, an next-generation suite that is supposed to take the best bits and pieces out of Oracle's other product lines and mesh them together into a single package.
Thecus this week expanded its NAS lineup by introducing the N8800+, a performance-oriented NAS rackmount server that aims squarely at larger businesses.
The N8800+ boasts a 2U rack mount chassis with an internal PCI-E x8 slot, which Thecus says delivers up to eight times more bandwidth than the PCI-E x1 slot found in the regular N8800. The x8 slot also paves an upgrade path to the latest 10Gb Ethernet cards.
You'll find an Intel Celeron M CPU stuffed inside, as well as 2GB of DDR2 memory. Companies can take advantage of eight SATA drives bays with support for up to 16TB of storage configurable in a RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, or JBOD array. Other features include a Dual DOM design, optional redundant power supply, support for iSCSI thin provisioning, and VMware Ready certification.
IBM on Thursday said that its Power7-based 750 Express and Power 755 models qualify as the first four-processor systems in the industry to receive an Energy Star logo.
"IBM has been a strong partner to the ENERGY STAR program," said Andrew Fanara, U.S. EPA Energy Star program manager. "U.S. EPA appreciates IBM's ongoing contributions to both the development of Energy Star IT equipment standards and their commitment to work with U.S. EPA to improve energy efficiency across the data center ecosystem to deliver environmental benefits both to the data center and through the innovative application of IT capabilities."
In order to qualify, a computer system has to meet specific power supply and energy efficiency ratings, as well as provide users with data on power use, thermal output, and processor utilization.
According to IBM, its Power 750 Express and Power 755 systems are three to four times more energy efficient than the Power6 systems they replace.
Intel on Tuesday unveiled its fastest enterprise and high-performance computing chip ever as part of its new Xeon 7500 series. Based on the company's Nehalem architecture, Intel says the launch represents the largest performance leap in Intel Xeon processor history, with an average improvement of 3x across a range of benchmarks. To put it into perspective, the No. 1 chip makers claims data centers can replace 20 single-core servers with a single Xeon 7500 processor series-based system and never skip a beat.
"The Xeon 7500 brings mission critical capabilities to the mainstream by delivering the most significant leap in performance, scalability, and reliability ever seen from Intel," said Kirk Skaugen, vice president of the Intel architecture group and general manager of Intel's data center group. "This combination will help users push to new levels of productivity, and accelerate the industry's migration away from proprietary architectures. We are democratizing high-end computing."
Intel says it managed to set over 20 new benchmarking world records, and it's not hard to see why. The 7500 series supports up to eight integrated cores and 16 threads, and can scale up to 32 cores and 64 threads per 4-chip platform, or 64 cores and 128 threads per 8-chip platform.
There are eight chips in the new series, culminating with the Xeon X7560 (2.26GHz, 24MB cache, 130W TDP).