Intel has been showing off a reference design for a new breed of mini-server designed to be rack mounted to handle infrequent operation.
The new system was shown to journalists today, and is designed in particular for web hosting services that handle few requests. The server will maintain operations at a low power level, typically 25W, but can boot up to 75W as needed. A single rack can hold many units.
"We are not trying to do a blade system here," said Jason Waxman, general manager of Intel's high performance computing arm. "What we're looking to do is drive low cost. Now we have a capability that is good enough."
The tiny servers run either a quad-core Linfield 1.86GHz processor or a dual-core 30W version known as Clarkdale. Intel has investigated running the Atom processor in such systems, but said that customers prefer the higher powered processors.
The chip firm said that the system is aimed at companies that do not want to virtualise such a server process, either because they lack the expertise to run virtual systems or prefer to own their own hardware.
Intel has submitted the design to the Server System Infrastructure Forum and, if accepted, it will be made available to all members royalty-free.
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