Computex – Supermicro

Overall Score

Supermicro has been around for a while now but this is the first show that we have seen them in. One of the things we first noticed when we stopped at their booth is innovation. I decided to help myself and play around. I was quickly interrupted by one of the employees working there. I guess they’ve had a problem with people stealing memory out of their servers. Understandable. We then got aquainted with one of the product managers down there. He gave us a very good walk through of their new products and some of their old products.

Some of the things we are going to be talking about on here are the mission critical server solutions, six-core AMD based servers, Supermicro blade servers, 2u twin (squared), and there newly released GPU Supercomputer.

 

Some of the products that Supermicro are offering this year have to do with their Twin family. These servers are pretty customizable allowing for different mainboard configurations. If you want AMD in one node, and Intel in the other this is doable. Being in the hosting business myself. Not everybody wants the same thing. So when it comes to high density computing and blade-like enclosures it’s hard to pick a platform from other companies that can run both AMD or Intel systems. From AMD Socket F systems to Intel’s new X58 platform(Xeon 5500 Series), even the Socket 771 platforms (Xeon 5400 Series).

 

The 1U Twin utilizes a single hot swapable power supply that is shared between two nodes, The power supply is 93% efficient (80 Plus – Gold-Level) The 1U Twin allows for two COMPLETE seperate nodes. If one node fails the other will remain up. They utilize seperate hard drives which can be 2 – 3.5″ drives or 4 – 2.5″ drives. Allowing Raid 0 to Raid 50.

We also got to see the 2U Twin (squared). Personally I think this is a much more innovative design that allows for hot swapable nodes without interupting the other nodes if you have to work on one. It also had 2 hot swapable power supplies that will load balance between the two of them. If one fails it has enough power to power all 4 nodes from one power supply. These power supplies also boast 93% Gold-Level efficiency. In the server market this is very high effiency. For every 1 watt pulled fro the socket, .93 watts will be supplied to the system. While some may think this is not a big deal, when you run a datacenter with 1000’s of servers, going from a 78-80% efficiency to 93% is HUGE, potentially cutting energy costs by almost 15%. Servers run 24/7 usually so every percentage counts.

 

One of the other things we got to see while we were at Supermicro was the new GPU Supercomputer for Parallel Processing. This machine had 2 double wide video cards in it. The rep at the booth mentioned that you could put up to 4 cards into the chassis as long as they weren’t double wide cards. They were highlighting the point that this is more than 2 teraflops of processing power in this single 1u chassis. The key target market is rendering farms for hollywood and the independant person who renders tons of images for business use. You can buy add-on video cards with the chassis which comes with either the NVIDIA Tesla M1060 or the NVIDIA Tesla C1060. This platform currently only supports Socket 1366 but they may make one for AMD based systems with the NVIDIA chipset. The power supply in this machine is also a 1400 watt 93% efficiency PSU.

 

This is sort of old news as Supermicro has had their Superblade systems out, but there is some misconception about Blade servers and how other companies do their blade servers and proprietary systems. I believe Supermicro has really changed the game when it comes to high density computing. Unlike IBM, Dell and Sun, Supermicro allows for mix and match blades. It’s mainly nicer for companies that have different needs. Lets say you need 3 crunching servers, and 3 high storage servers. With Supermicro you can easily do this.

 

They have a couple of solutions for enclosures, SBE-710E Series, and SBE-714D/E. SBE-710E is a 7u, 10 server solution, and SBE-714D/E is 7u, 14 server solution. The SBE-710E is the most versatile chassis allowing for different setups.

From 2p socket 1366 solutions supporting 8 cores per blade to 4p socket f solution supporting 24 cores per blade. These blade enclosures also come from the factory with IPMI 2.0 (KVM over IP).


This is a picture of the blade enclosure in a new half rack that Supermicro now offers for smaller offices.


This is a picture of one of the 4p AMD Solutions, This has 24 cores in it with 128GB of memory.


This is a picture of one of the dual Xeon 5400 series. 8 cores total.

All said and done, you can see they really customize the blade servers no matter what platform it is or was. If you buy the chassis, and start off with 5400 series, you can put other solutions in the same chassis later on down the road. I like their idea of upgradability in there server department.

This concludes highlights we’ve seen at Supermicros booth. If you have any questions or comments please use the link below to discuss.

Discuss here

 

 

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