Feeds

Super Micro says MicroClouds will rain down in July

Packs them in for micro server preview

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Motherboard and whitebox server maker Super Micro is showing off its first entry into the so-called micro server segment, called the MicroCloud, at the Computex 2011 trade show in Taipei, Taiwan this week. The company had been hinting back in April that the MicroClouds were in the works.

The MicroCloud machines, like a number of micro server designs that are rolling out this year, are based on Intel's new "Sandy Bridge-DT" Xeon E3-1200 processors, which launched in March. The Xeon E3 processors are designed for single-socket machines, and using Intel's "Bromolow" platform have four DDR3 memory slots per processor socket. They also have somewhat limited I/O expansion compared to the uniprocessor and two-socket "Romley" platforms based on the "Sandy Bridge-EN" processors – to be launched in the third quarter as the Xeon E5s if rumor has it right.

There are a number of ways to create a micro server, and one of them is to make a tray server that slides into a chassis, either in a vertical row as most blade servers do, or horizontally, three side-by-side, in a chassis. The thing about micro servers is that they are designed for relatively lightweight workloads, do not require a lot of CPU or memory, and are usually inherently parallel workloads where each node in a cluster is not particularly important to the overall processing being done in the cluster. Because the software stack includes data replication and workload balancing across hundreds or thousands of nodes and usually with relatively cheap top-of-rack switching, all of the system management controller, networking backplane, and integrated switching that is part of a much more expensive blade server is ripped out of the micro server. That means you can cram more server nodes into a box, and for some workloads, having the lower energy consumption and the lowest price per node are the most important thing for customers.

Super Micro MicroCloud server

The Super Micro MicroCloud micro server

Intel executives have said that they expect micro servers to eventually comprise about 10 per cent of the server volumes, thanks to their adoption by cloud infrastructure and hosting suppliers, and about two-thirds of those machines would be best suited to a Xeon, rather than an Atom, processor. So it is no surprise, then, that Super Micro's first foray into micro servers is based on the Xeon E3 processors rather than the Atom. That said, Super Micro may plunk one or more Atom processors onto a server tray for the MicroCloud boxes at some point – the company is not saying at this time if that is the plan.

But this secret decoder ring chart that Super Micro partners have been given to understand the naming conventions for the MicroCloud components shows what options the company might be planning for:

Super Micro MicroCloud options

As you can see, Super Micro can contemplate a number of chassis form factors (3U, 4U, and 6U), processor architectures and coprocessors, and peripheral expansion for the MicroClouds.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Cloud unicorns are extinct so DiData cloud mess was YOUR fault
Applications need to be built to handle TITSUP incidents
BOFH: WHERE did this 'fax-enabled' printer UPGRADE come from?
Don't worry about that cable, it's part of the config
Stop the IoT revolution! We need to figure out packet sizes first
Researchers test 802.15.4 and find we know nuh-think! about large scale sensor network ops
SanDisk vows: We'll have a 16TB SSD WHOPPER by 2016
Flash WORM has a serious use for archived photos and videos
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
prev story

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.