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The Personal Cluster: Coming To A Desk Near You

Feb 13, 2009, 00:01 (0 Talkback[s])

"To their credit, Intel and AMD have managed to deliver multi-cores without requiring an associated increase in power. (i.e. a current quad-core chip requires the same amount of power as a dual-core chip, it may run a little slower, however). This result has allowed the core densities in both rack mount and blade servers to increase dramatically.

"For instance, consider the IBM BladeCenter S system. It is a server closet (rack mountable), but because it is designed for power efficiency could easily sit on or next to a desk. It is powered by standard 110-220 volt electrical service and can hold up to six blade servers (up to 48 cores total). The system even has integrated storage built into the chassis (12TB SATA and 12TB NL SAS are available) and does not require chilled air. It also has a Office Enablement Kit that allows for mobility (wheels) and protection from the office environment (dust, dirt, coffee!). Another nice feature of the Blade Center S is the low acoustic signature -- a must for office use. Similar systems with various feature sets can be had from HP, Dell, and Supermicro.

"Another entry in the departmental arena is the Cray CX1 "Supercomputer." The CX1 can be thought of as a blade systems on wheels. Mobility is nice with this size unit. (Which should be taken as a hint to the other blade vendors). It can support up to 64 Intel cores and can be configured with InfiniBand as well. Similar to other blade systems, it can use storage blades and works with standard office electrical service."

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