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Tuesday, 18 January 2011 18:55

Micro-server specification out

Written by Nick Farell


Power-efficient ready for entry-level web-hosting
A server industry group led by Intel has released a spec for a Micro Module Server.

According to Search Data Centre, The Server System Infrastructure (SSI) Forum, is a special interest group serving the x86 server industry. If people start following the spec then it could mean that  micro servers could be right around the corner. Micro Module Servers could be the things that kill off blade servers. Blades are dense and provide good performance, but they also consume a lot of power. But Micro Modules are both dense and save a lot of electricity.

Micro servers will ship in a fully populated chassis that provides a shared power supply and fan like a blade chassis. But to keep the cost down, micro server chassis will probably not include any integrated switching or management. Work on the specification was spearheaded by Intel, Quanta Computer Inc. and x86 server motherboard maker Tyan.

The performance offered by micro servers will be determined by the processors vendors put in them, which the SSI Forum spec does not prescribe. Currently the thinking is something like single-socket Xeons based on the E3 series. Later there will be micro servers based on Intel Atoms chips, and potentially ARM processors. The SSI specification also leaves vendors open to stack their micro servers horizontally or vertically.

Nick Farell

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