SeaMicro has updated its cluster server platform to support the latest chips from both Intel and parent company AMD.
The company said that the SM 15000 would offer a 64-processor cluster system with integrated storage and networking within a five rack unit enclosure. When configured with Opteron chips the units offer up to 512 processor cores and 4TB of storage, while the Ivy Bridge version will top out at 256 cores and 2TB of storage.
Andrew Feldman, SeaMicro co-founder and now general manager and vice president of AMD's SCSS business unit, said that the company's aim with the SM 15000 was to rethink the way large enterprise datacentres approach designing and building cluster systems for cloud computing and big data operations.
Feldman told reporters that the traditional approach to servers was to build systems for internal use by employees within a fixed IT infrastructure. As big data platforms require a larger bandwidth and a wider set of sources of data, traditional servers are unable to scale.
"Each of us looked at one part of this transformation and said 'I've got it'," Feldman said.
"What we failed to see was compute, storage and networking as intertwined pieces of the datacentre."
Instead, Sea Micro is opting for a "holistic" approach in which the company weighs the pros and cons of boosting performance, efficiency and bandwidth. In doing so, the company believes that it can design a system which hits the sweet spot of being both more efficient and scalable for big data.
In its largest configuration, the system can build a cluster containing 512 processor cores, 4TB of DRAM, and 1408 hard drives adding up to 5PB of total capacity, with a physical footprint of two racks.
"What we built was a server that used a quarter of the power, took a sixth of the space and delivers a 16 times increase in broadband," Feldman declared.
The company said that both the Opteron and Ivy Bridge-based SM15000 models will be arriving in November. Pricing starts at $139,000.
SeaMicro's unveiling comes on the eve of Intel's annual IDF conference in San Francisco. The chipmaker is slated to provide updates on a number of its products, including its own big data offering in the many-integrated core (MIC) Xeon Phi processor platform.
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