Rugged server design reduces 15U rack to 2U

Replacing up to 15U of equivalent server rack functions, the S2U King Cobra 2U short rack server has been announced by General Micro Systems.

The modular and scalable architecture comprises each sub-system optimised for maximum performance, lowest power, highest efficiency thermal profile and modular replacement in the field, says the company. Each sub-system is scalable and upgradable to lower total cost of ownership over the installation life.

The OpenVPX SBC motherboard has dual 18 core Intel Xeon E5-2600v4 CPUs which mate with up to 1024Gbyte (1Tbyte) of DD4 DRAM and are supported with a completely PCI Express-based storage sub-system with up to 48Tbyte of NVMe SSDs.

The 17inch deep short rack S2U King Cobra includes a 24 port (22x 1GigE; 2x 10GigE) Ethernet switch sub-system, a hardware or enterprise-class Cisco intelligent router, two power supply unit options with auxiliary power unit, and scalable add-in modules for algorithm co-processors, sensor interfaces, additional I/O or legacy system interfaces.

The OpenVPX motherboard is based upon a proven compute-engine design that is already used in defence applications. The Intel Xeon CPUs are cooled via a patented version of the company’s RuggedCool technology. The heatsinks are also custom designed for maximum thermal transfer to the finely managed  in-box airflow. Dual hot-swappable fan trays each contain six smart fans which blow air in/out of the system to the side, rather than front/rear as in typical servers. The side-facing fans operate based upon real-time cooling needs using input from in-system sensors. The system minimises fan noise to the server environment by keeping the fans at the minimum speed to cool the system.

Internal PCIe buses move data to the subsystems, including the 12-tray drive network-attached storage array. The system supports traditional SATA and SAS SSDs (up to 4Tbyte/tray), but is best used with PCIe-based NVMe drives. The SSDs provide a direct PCIe path between CPU and storage, eliminating the typical server drive controllers that affect performance by converting from PCIe to another interface and protocol.

The Intel CPUs support RSTe and RST2 software RAID, the next-generation in RAID controllers. The Xeon E5 v4 CPUs are designed to directly control NVMe drives, with the added benefit of eliminating a separate hardware RAID controller.

The ability to add-in specialty I/O or co-processors is increased with four PCIe x16 card slots, three 3U OpenVPX defence-quality modules, SAM I/O (miniPCIe) on each drive tray and on the 6U VPX modules, and defence-quality XMC card can be added to the OpenVPX SBC motherboard

It also supports up to 24 TFLOPS of arithmetic processing via two Nvidia Quadro P6000 processor GPGPU compute engine modules.

The S2U King Cobra can provide up to 25 add-in modules, including the five SAM I/O available on the motherboard and COM switch board.

There are two ways to the power the system, via the three N+1 3U OpenVPX power supplies or via the add-in PSU/APU. The PSU/APU replaces the PCIe card cage and provides battery power to allow orderly suspend-to-disk or shutdown.  All S2U internal power buses are +12V DC, eliminating the need for multiple in-system power converters.

The rack includes a 22-port intelligent managed Layer 2/3 Ethernet switch with POE+ on all ports, plus an additional four 10GigE ports (SBC plus switch). Cisco routers include an embedded services router (ESR), optimised for moderate performance, or Cisco’s 1000V Series cloud services router (CSR) that creates a locally hosted, infrastructure-agnostic “single tenant router” capability. Routing is available on all the switch’s one and 10Gigabit ports.

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