IBM and ASTRON introduce
64-bit MicroDataCenter prototype prepares for Big Bang Big Data
Water-cooled, energy-efficient microserver will analyze petabytes of data daily
Comparing our T4240ZMS MicroServer to the 1950s.
The microserver’s team has designed and demonstrated a prototype 64-bit microserver using a PowerPC based chip from Freescale Semiconductor running Linux Fedora and IBM DB2. At 133 × 55 mm2 the microserver contains all of the essential functions of today’s servers, which are 4 to 10 times larger in size. Not only is the microserver compact, it is also very energy-efficient.
One of its innovations is hotwater cooling, which in addition to keeping the chip operating temperature below 85°C, will also transport electrical power by means of a copper plate.
The concept is based on the same technology IBM developed for the SuperMUC supercomputer located outside of Munich, Germany. IBM scientists hope to keep each microserver operating between 35–40 watts including the system on a chip (SOC) — the current design is 60 W.
The next step for scientists is to begin to take 128 of the microserver boards using the newest T4240 chips to create a 2U rack unit with 1536 cores and 3072 threads with up to 6 terabytes of DRAM.
In addition, they will be adding an Ethernet switch and power module to the integrated water-cooling.
“I like to call it a datacenter in a shoebox. With the combination of power and energy efficiency, we believe the microserver will be of interest beyond the DOME project, particularly for cloud data centers and Big Data analytics applications.”
—Ronald Luijten, Data motion architect, IBM Research
This 90-second video shows ZRL scientists automatically booting all 8 nodes of the MicroDataCenter prototype.
IBM scientist Ronald Luijten (@ronaldgadget) presents the microserver at ASTRON’s offices in Dwingeloo, The Netherlands
They said it couldn’t be done...
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