IT optimisation consultancy Intergence Systems has started shipping the Hyperforma server, which bundles pre-configured software and hardware with a ruggedised chassis and is designed for extreme environments.
The Hyperforma is intended to function as a branch office server, with support for up to eight virtual machines through a VMware hypervisor. It comes bundled with software for file-sharing, wide-area network acceleration and security. Intergence pre-configures the server, which began shipping on Sunday, to fit into a customer's IT stack so it can be installed within minutes once delivered to a site.
The server is primarily based around Windows and VMware. However, if a customer wants to change hypervisor and operating system, Intergence can do so, the company said. "Ease-of-use is probably the key driver to get interest from clients so it can be pre-configured, shipped to site and installed in minutes," Intergence's executive vice president of operations, Barry Viles, told ZDNet UK on Monday.
The ruggedised version of the Hyperforma. Photo credit: Intergence
The Hyperforma uses a rugged two rack unit (2U) P4496R Westek server chassis, which contains up to four quad-core Xeon processors, 24GB of DDR3 RAM, hot-swappable Raid-enabled disk arrays with up to 500GB of in-server SATA anti-shock storage, and redundant dual power supplies. The device conforms to US military MIL-STD 810F specifications. It uses wide-area network acceleration software from Certeon to increase the performance of bandwidth-hungry applications such as AutoCAD, a program used by the construction industry, by up to 90 percent when sending information over WAN. The virtual machines are secured by the Astaro Virtual Firewall 8.002.
"With the ruggedised version, we're definitely seeing it in challenging environments such as construction environments, which are challenging in terms of dust. Or Alaska if you are prospecting [for natural resources], which is challenging in terms of temperature, or if it's offshore and you need to get in a helicopter quickly and configure it," Viles said.
A basic version of the Hyperforma for the enterprise costs £20,000 and incorporates the Westek chassis with one quad-core processor and 12GB of RAM, along with Microsoft Exchange 2007, Microsoft Server 2008 R2, the VMware hypervisor, WAN acceleration software from Certeon and security software from Astaro.
A ruggedised version of the server costs £30,000 and comes with a dedicated uninterruptible power supply (UPS). Both versions' prices reflect a degree of pre-configuration, Intergence said, so that the pre-loaded software comes tailored to the IT environment into which the Hyperforma will be deployed. It is possible to buy a version of the Hyperforma package that guarantees 99.999 percent redundancy, although this requires buying two servers and a dedicated UPS, Viles said.
A number of companies currently supply rugged servers, such as Westek, Broadax Systems and Kontron. Rugged hardware is already prevalent on a number of more consumer-facing platforms, such as phones, tablets, handheld computers and notebooks. Companies such as HP already make rugged containerised datacentres for extreme environments.