Feeds

Rackable servers goin' mobile

Watch the police and the tax man miss IT

The essential guide to IT transformation

The joke with containerized data centers - putting racks of servers, storage, and networking into shipping containers instead of into brick-and-mortar data centers - is that if you put them in the corporate parking lot, as some vendors have suggested, you only make it easier for thieves to walk off with - well, drive off with - millions of dollars in computing gear.

A new family of small, ruggedized, wheeled racks from Rackable Systems, called the MobiRacks, will take the opportunity for a heist down to a couple ten thousands of dollars in server gear.

The MobiRacks come in four sizes, the compact 5U and 11U and midrange 14U and 16U sizes, and are designed to house rack-based servers, storage devices, networking gear, uninterruptible power supplies, and DC power distribution gear, all in a portable enclosure that takes its inspiration from the plastic cases that high-end tools are stored in. Or perhaps a minibar you want to get through customs without letting someone break into.

The MobiRacks are relatively compact thanks to Rackable's server designs, which are half-depth units that normally plug into a standard-sized server rack two at a time - one in the front, and one in the back. Using these half-depth servers in a MobiRack allows them to be roughly square and to fit in a fairly small space on the floor. They are also light enough to be rolled around pretty easily, at 350 to 421 pounds. In essence, this is a containerized data center suitable for small and medium businesses.

The smallest MobiRack, the MR1000-5U, can house five 1U servers or two 2U servers using Intel Xeon or Advanced Micro Devices Opteron processors, with a maximum of 40 processor cores. The largest MobiRack, the MR1000-16U, can house up to 16 1U servers or eight 2U servers, for a maximum of 128 processor cores. The MobiRacks offer from 10 TB to 40 TB of disk capacity as well.

All of the units take in 110 volt AC power, and depending on the model, servers are designed for DC or AC input power at the server. (The smallest MobiRack is AC-only, and the largest one is DC only; the middle two can do either.) Rackable, of course, is one of the pioneers of distributing DC power only within the rack to create more energy-efficient racks.

Rackable Systems MobiRack

Rackable envisions the MobiRacks being deployed in initial data centers that are not of the traditional raised floor variety - it might be the corner of the factory - and other kinds of harsh environments. The company is not only offering the plastic exteriors in a variety of colors, but is also delivering air-tight and water-tight options. Both of these are problematic for air-cooled equipment, obviously.

The tightness has more to do with when the equipment is being transported than when it is being used. The front and back of the enclosure comes off when it is running. The racks meet shock and vibration standards of the military and air transport companies, too, Rackable says. The company doesn't do public pricing, so heaven only knows what this costs.

If you buy a MobiRack, just make sure you get insurance for the content inside. You'll probably want to get collision and liability insurance, too, while you are at it. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Pay to play: The hidden cost of software defined everything
Enter credit card details if you want that system you bought to actually be useful
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers
Think those are cool? Wait till you get a load of our racks
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
VMware's high-wire balancing act: EVO might drag us ALL down
Get it right, EMC, or there'll be STORAGE CIVIL WAR. Mark my words
Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays
The physical/virtual storage tipping point may just have arrived
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
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.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.