The new product from Leicestershire-based Avantek Computer is one of the first servers in the world to use ARM processors from US startup Calxeda, offering high performance with lower running costs through the low power consumption. Although Dell and HP are currently working on their own models they have not yet launched.
"It’s fantastic for a small company like ours to be able to beat the big boys to the market with an innovative product that’s really going to point the way forward for server technology," said Tony Lees, Managing Director of Avantek Computer. Avantek is using boards from Calxeda as well as the EnergyCore SoC (Server on Chip) rather than system partners such as AAEon or Gigabyte. “The key advantage of the new Avantek server range is undoubtedly power consumption, as our users will discover to their benefit. At 5 watts per node, our servers use a fraction of the power of a traditional x86 server, which will use a minimum of 75 to 80 watts – or in many cases 120 watts – per node."
“Our new product is the ideal solution for a variety of different uses, including media serving, web hosting, research functionality and scale-out file storage, offering significant savings in running costs and helping users to lower their carbon footprint,” he said.
Calxeda’s EnergyCore SoC is based on multiple ARM Cortex-A9 processor and is coupled with solid state drives from Kingston Technology. The system comprises a total of 48 server nodes, each one quad-core, and provides a world first in one-to-one mapping with each node mapped onto its own memory and its own 240Gb to 480Gb Kingston Technology SSDNow KC300 drive, all in the 3U rack chassis.
Each node operates independently, for example to solve separate elements of complex research tasks. The built-in 80Gb fabric and cluster networking supplied as standard brings all the separate data back together. This is usually an expensive component in other products.
Four 10Gb Ethernet connections connect to an external switch, which provides a cost-effective and extremely fast alternative to the expensive InfiniBand technology. To fully populate the server, Avantek chose Kingston technology and is using 48 Kingston KC300 SSDs as the high SATA III read/write speeds allow maximum server performance.
Bespoke Avantek ARM Eco-servers are now available to order from £5,000.