Feeds

Verari noses HP, IBM with third gen blades

It's cooler on the botttom

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration

While Hewlett-Packard and IBM have the lion's share of commercial blade server sales in the world, there are a number of other players hanging on in the space, trying to stay ahead of the crushing marketing force of Big Gray and Big Blue with technology innovation and playing to niches. One of the niche players, San Diego-based Verari Systems, has just updated its blade boxes to have a stronger appeal to enterprise customers.

Most makers of commercial blade servers think of blade servers in terms of filling a chassis of from 7U to 10U in size inside a rack. But Verari and its niche blade provider compatriot, Egenera, have thought of blade systems starting at the rack level and then engineered the resulting blade architecture to make the most of the space inside a rack.

What makes Verari somewhat unique from other players in the blade space, says company co-founder and chief technology officer, David Driggers, is that Verari (once known by the name RackSaver) has always made its blade servers from common, off-the-shelf components, not specially shrunk motherboards, switches, and such - and it has still been able to deliver the kinds of densities that have allowed the company to build a blade business that rakes in more than $100 million a year. (How much more than $100 million, Driggers is not saying, and Verari is privately held, so we can't make them tell us).

While HP got into blades around the turn of the millennium and IBM followed a few years later, Verari has had three generations of blade designs to HP's and IBM's two. The launch of the BladeRack E-Class racks completes the roll out of the third generation of gear.

Cooling from the Bottom

Verari was founded in 1991 and sells rack servers as well, but blades are what people go to the company for these days. As in years gone by, Driggers says that the company's blades still use standard motherboards, full height memory DIMMs, 3.5-inch disks, and other full-sized components, and it uses engineering to get the kinds of densities that customers will pay Verari from.

The big innovation, of course, is to not do the back-to-front cooling that rack servers use, but to do what mainframes have always done, which is think bottom-to-top when it comes to cooling. So, Verari's BladeRack racks pull cool air from the bottom of the rack (where the cool air is near the floor anyway) and suck it up through the electronic components and vent it out the top of the rack (where warmed air wants to go anyway).

With the current generation of BladeRack 2 products, the company has split its racks into high-end and low-end products rather than have a single product line, as it had in the XT generation. The XL-Class of racks, launched in February of this year, comes with a 208-400 volt AC power distribution system and packs up to 72 blades in the rack (144 blades per rack is possible using half-width motherboards), for a maximum of 576 processor cores using quad-core X64 chips and up to 672 disks per rack.

Best practices for enterprise data

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft's Euro cloud darkens: US FEDS can dig into foreign servers
They're not emails, they're business records, says court
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
VMware builds product executables on 50 Mac Minis
And goes to the Genius Bar for support
Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks
Black Hat research says proposed protocol will bork network probes, flummox firewalls
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Microsoft says 'weird things' can happen during Windows Server 2003 migrations
Fix coming for bug that makes Kerberos croak when you run two domain controllers
Cisco says network virtualisation won't pay off everywhere
Another sign of strain in the Borg/VMware relationship?
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?