While it’s hard to imagine a company the size of IBM flying under the radar, it is very rare to hear mention of it when discussing the public face of the future of high-density datacenter computing. ARM vs. Atom seems to dominate the discussion, with combatants and their supporters trumpeting each new product announcement and technology advance. And in the background, IBM’s Power Architecture has been quietly ramping up.
Offering microserver-sized units with full scale processing power, a new Texas company called Servergy announced yesterday its new Cleantech line of servers built around Power Architecture® from Freescale and optimized for power and performance — offering what they describe as the next generation of hyper-efficient servers. The individual CTS-1000 servers are less than 1/4U in size, (Servergy compares the server footprint to that of a legal pad of paper) and weigh in at 9 lbs. but offer features and performance usually found in much larger servers.
The heart of the server is a Power Architecture System on a chip (SoC) running 8 cores at 1.5 GHz, up to 2 MB of L3 cache, two 10G and two 1G Ethernet ports, 32 GB of main system memory, and hardware offload engines for security/encryption, networking, and pattern matching. OS support is for a range of Linux distributions. Because of the small size of the server, they can increase server density by up to 400 percent when compared with traditional 1U servers.
Drawing less than 130 watts at full load, Servergy claims that due to their ground up re-engineering of the basic concepts for the design of servers of this nature they can see a reduction of up to 80 percent across power, cooling, and carbon footprints when compared to other Linux PowerServer implementations.
Servergy is currently the only company, other than IBM, offering Linux-on Power Servers. IBM is pushing the technology hard, having announced in September its commitment to $1 billion in funding for Linux and open-source technologies for the Power architecture.