We have the pleasure to review one of Supermicro’s latest releases: the MicroCloud. The MicroCloud is an evolutionary product that brings high-density computing to small hosting companies by incorporating 8 Sandy Bridge class Xeon servers into a very small 3U form factor. For comparison, your typical rackmount server is 1-2 “Units”, or Us, in height, and a standard cabinet in a datacenter is 42 Us tall. After accounting for space for routers, switches, and power distribution units, you can typically cram about 35-38 Us worth of servers into a standard cabinet before you need to buy more space. If deploying only MicroCloud hardware, this would allow you to serve up to 144 servers in a standard cabinet, assuming 36U of usable space and, of course, power. The MicroCloud we will be testing today consist of 8 Server sleds, and 16 hard drive sleds and 2 Platinum series 85% Efficiency Power supplies. Supermicro tells us there is a 16 sled variant to be released soon, but it was unavailable for testing for this review.
Each system within the MicroCloud was configured as follows:
- 1 Intel Xeon E3-1260L(2.4GHz Low Power) or Xeon E3-1230 (3.2GHz Normal Power)
- 2 x 2GB of PC3-1333 DDR3 Unbuffered RAM
- 2 Western Digital RE3 500GB Drives (Enterprise Level)
- 2 Intel Corporation 82580DB Gigabit Ethernet Network Connections
The chassis is powered by two fully redundant 1620w/1200w (208v/110v) power supplies. Our tests were performed with the system running on 120v power. Each blade is configured with it’s own IPMI port, which is different from one of the MicroCloud’s direct competitors, the Dell Viking Series, which shares a central IPMI port for all blades within the chassis. Let’s jump into this thing and unbox it.