You may be skeptical upon reading the headline above, but have a look at this story at VentureBeat about a start-up named SeaMicro. The firm has developed a server product that takes up one quarter of a traditional data-center rack and uses 512 Intel Atom chips for processing. By packing in power-efficient CPUs, SeaMicro aims to match Xeon- and Opteron-based servers while using less power and occupying less space.
The key to making it all work is SeaMicro's special sauce, which reportedly is a combination of virtualization software and a series of custom chips that provide the customary I/O functions—storage, networking, managemenet—but do so through virutalized I/O that allows extensive sharing of hardware resources. How extensive? VentureBeat says, "Full told, SeaMicro eliminates 90 percent of the components from a system board. . . . With it, SeaMicro shrinks the size of the system board from a pizza box to the size of a credit card."
The article includes some power use and space estimates for a SeaMicro solution with a given SPECint_rate score alongside estimates for Dell R610 servers with similar performance. The bottom line is a claimed savings of over a million dollars during a four-year period. That's a large installation, but if the math is sound, it proves a point worthy of note. For the right kind of applications, such as virtual web hosting, something like this might make a lot of sense.
|Aerocool starts Project 7 with a flurry of case and cooling gear||3|
|NTFS filesystem bug could crash Windows 7, 8, and 8.1||9|
|Enermax NeoChanger is both a pump and a reservoir||3|
|Acer sprinkles the Iconia Tab 10 with quantum dots||6|
|Deals of the week: lots of motherboards and a cheap GTX 1080||20|
|MSI Vortex G25VR, Infinite-A, and Pro 20EX PCs fill all niches||1|
|Nvidia unveils the GeForce GTX Battlebox certification program||27|
|Acer Spin 1 and Nitro 5 laptops are ready for school season||13|
|Ryzen AGESA 22.214.171.124 exposes more memory overclocking options||55|