SeaMicro teams with Intel, Samsung on fabric-based Xeon micro server

Based on Intel's Sandy Bridge architecture, SeaMicro's new quad-core micro server is boasted to be the most energy efficent and highest-density Intel Xeon server available.

SAN FRANCISCO -- SeaMicro has partnered with both Samsung and Intel to introduce what is being touted as the "first" fabric-based Intel Xeon micro server, the SeaMicro SM10000-XE.

The SM10000-XE is said to be so powerful that it replaces 500 comparable machines from five years ago, according to SeaMicro reps.

Micro servers like this one are designed for fulfilling data center needs -- particularly by reducing power and space with machines that use only a fourth of the power consumption and one-sixth the space compared to the previous generation of servers.

When holding a prototype, the server measures out to roughly the same dimensions as a standard keyboard.

This data center solution is supposed to achieve these requirements based on three primary features, one from each of the partners:

  • Intel's Sandy Bridge architecture and Xeon processors
  • SeaMicro's Freedom Fabric ASIC (optimized to work with large-core and small-core CPUs, shrinks the size of the motherboard to the size of a standard business card)
  • Samsung's energy efficient Green DDR3 RAM (half the size of a standard memory module)

Based on Xeon E3-1260L CPUs, the quad-core micro server is boasted to be the most energy efficient, highest-bandwidth and highest-density Intel Xeon server available. The SM10000-XE uses half the power of competing Xeon solutions while providing three times the density and 12 times the bandwidth.

Here's a glance at what's inside the system:

  • 64 Intel Xeon x86 quad-core 2.4Ghz processors
  • 256 cores per 10 rack units (1,024 cores per rack)
  • Up to 2.048 TB of Samsung Green DDR3 DRAM (32GB per processor)
  • Up to 64 SATA hard disk or solid state drives
  • Either 16 10GB Ethernet links or 64 1GB Ethernet uplinks
  • Support for 64-bit operating systems
  • Runs standard operating systems out-of-the-box, including Windows

The SM10000-XE is also benchmarked to deliver 10GB of bandwidth to each quad-core processor. Overall, it is designed to cover all workload types, ranging from web-tier (i.e. real-time analytics) to web database workloads.

Breaking away from the norm, some customers have already deployed these systems ahead of the announcement time.

For example, Mozilla's director of IT infrastructure and operations, Matthew Zeier, discussed at the announcement how this platform was an "obvious fit" for handling traffic. Zeier cited that Mozilla has approximately half a billion active users each day across its properties.

SeaMicro's customer base spans four continents, and it includes companies such as Skype and Dell. For everyone else, the SM10000-XE is now available worldwide with a base configuration price tag set at $138,000.