Supermicro kicked off CeBIT 2013 with its lineup of new products. The main themes this year, without a major Intel launch accompanying the event, are power efficiency and density. Supermicro seems to have put significant emphasis on its 4U FatTwin architecture along with its high-density storage products. Let’s see the CeBIT 2013 release.
Supermicro is touting its FatTwin platform significantly this year with its 4U 8-node SYS-F617R3-FT is expected to provide $500 per node savings over 4 years from its energy efficient design. Much of this efficiency is gained due to the use of shared power and cooling over the various nodes in a chassis. As we saw with the 2U Twin2 product line and similar products like the C6100 (a product where Supermicro did the original OEM design for Dell), these shared power and cooling designs do great things in terms of power consumption. The Supermicro SYS-F617R3-FT is extra interesting because it essentially brings two 2U Twin2’s together into a single 4U chassis with 8 nodes. Another major product is the 4-node 8x 3.5” hot-swap HDD per node SYS-F627R3-RTB+ and (with LSI SAS2208) SYS-F627R3-R72B+. These solutions utilize double-sided storage, with tow 3.5″ drive sleds in the rear to provide high density storage along with two sockets per 1U. This is an example where the 4U FatTwin does provide a tangible benefit as there are not many 1U chassis with the ability to have 8x hot swap disks.
Supermicro also is featuring its 4U Double-Sided Storage server SSG-6047R-E1R72L which supports 72x hot-swappable 3.5″ SAS/SATA HDDs in 36x drive bays plus 2x internal fixed 2.5” HDD bays for OS and applications. For those wondering, that means that the SSG-6047-E1R72L utilizes three LSI SAS2308 controllers in conjunction with expanders to provide all of that storage connectivity. Also, the 36x bays and 72x 3.5″ drives means that Supermicro is now putting two drives per sled. That also means that Supermicro has significantly leapfrogged 4U designs such as the Blackblaze storage pod which feature “only” 45 drives per 4U node. No pricing on this yet but it is an interesting solution. Supermicro also has a more Hadoop oriented solution with four 12x 3.5″ disk nodes per 4U (48 drive total) with the SYS-F617H6-FT+.
These FatTwin systems utilize:
optimized air channel… architecture incorporates highly power efficient motherboard designs and heavy duty 8cm fans for optimal cooling. Combined with Platinum level, high efficiency (95%) digital switching power supplies and reduced cabling these platforms enable operation at higher ambient temperatures (up to 47°C) lowering overall power consumption by up to 16% and dramatically improving overall energy efficiency.
Again, having seen this in the 2U Twin2 series, the efficiency gains are there. One other aspect that should be pointed out with these types of solutions is that the overall in-rack maintenance for the systems is greatly reduced because almost everything is hot swap.
Supermicro’s release also features two products recently seen on ServeTheHome including the SYS-6027AX-TRF Hyper-Speed platform and the Supermicro X9SBAA-F which is the brains behind the Supermicro SYS-5017A-EF we recently reviewed. One other product caught our attention in the H8QG7-LN4F which allows for up to 1TB of RAM and has both an Intel i350 four port gigabit Ethernet controller as well as a 1GB cache LSI SAS2208 controller built-in.
As a recently converted believer in the 2U Twin2 and 4U FatTwin architecture benefits (since we use what is essentially three 2U Twin2’s for ServeTheHome and two more in the lab) it is very exciting to see companies innovate with these form factors.