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Verari Expands Its Blade Server Repertoire

By Drew Robb (Send Email)
Posted Aug 28, 2009


Since we last visited Verari back in 2007, the company has maintained its focus on x86 high-density data centers. But it has expanded its product line beyond the BladeRack 2 series. Server Snapshot: Verari continues to feature x86 high-density blade configurations, but its offerings now include storage blades and a data-center-in-a-box for IT shops on the move.

"Verari has been focused on data center consolidation with our Forest Container, our BladeRack 2 X-Series platform and our DataValet cloud storage solution," said Dan Gatti, senior vice president of worldwide market operations at Verari Systems Inc. of San Diego, Calif. "We are developing scale-out, blade-based computing and storage platforms for cloud, Web 2.0, and the global enterprise. We compete with IBM, HP and Dell in this space."

BladeRack 2 Series

Verari discontinued its original BladeRack platform along with some other rackmount products. These have been replaced with the BladeRack 2 series, which comprises the BladeRack 2 XL (BR2-XL), BladeRack 2 XM (BR2-XM) and BladeRack 2 E-Class (BR2-E) platforms to go along with the BladeRack 2 XT (BR2-XT). This new range has Verari's patented Vertical Cooling Technology built in. Unlike traditional front-to-back cooling, it takes a bottom-to-top approach. Cool air is drawn from the floor and then force upwards through the entire rack.

"Our BladeRack 2 design with Vertical Cooling Technology makes the Verari BladeRack 2 X-Series an energy efficient solution that lowers total cost of ownership," said Gatti.

The BR2-XL can hold up to 72 blades with up to 1.3 petabytes of storage, depending on needs. This is, it can either be configured with a focus on compute power, storage capacity or as a hybrid. A configuration with 72 x VB1315XL blade servers using dual quad-core Intel Xeon 2.26GHz processors, 24 GB RAM and 72 x 250 GB SATA hard drives has a starting price of $270,000 for a BladeRack2-XL plus Vertical Cooling Technology. Gatti said this particular configuration is popular in entertainment and media as well as in the oil and gas industries.

Another configuration might have SB1210XL storage units blades using dual quad-core Xeon 2.5 GHz processors with 8 GB RAM and up to 672 TB of total capacity. The starting price for this type of rack with 72 SB1210XL storage servers is $299,000. AMD configurations are also available.


BladeRack2-XL
Verari's BladeRack 2 XL

If density is key, according to Gatti, and the BR2-XM can be customized with up to 768 processing cores while still providing 192 TB of local disk space.

"The BladeRack 2 XM is the industry's densest compute solution with support for up to 96 blades, each housing the most cutting edge components and processors available," said Gatti."This platform is attractive for demanding grid and web serving environments."

The BR2-XT is yet another possibility. It houses up to 1.15 petabytes of storage or 528 processing cores. One of the many Verari blades compatible with this rack is the VB1550 XT. It supports two six-core AMD Opteron 2400 series processors, up to 64 GB RAM and up to 4 TB internal storage.

Finally, the BladeRack 2 E-Class was designed with enterprise-class data centers in mind. It is fully redundant at both the node and rack level. It supports Verari Management Control (VMC) system management software, which is designed to enable IT managers to control it remotely. It can house up to 1.15PB of storage or 792 processing cores per rack and up to 66 single server blades.

The VB1550XE and VB2242XE blades are specifically built for use with the E-Class. The VB1550XE blade server features two six-core AMD Opteron 2400 series processors and up to 4TB of storage. It can use up to 64GB RAM. The VB2242XE blade server features four Intel Xeon 7400 processors with up to 192GB RAM and 1.2TB storage capacity. It is built with virtualization in mind and is VMware ESX 3.5 certified.

Can't See the Servers for the Forest Container

Data-center-in-a-box concepts have been introduced by various vendors over the last couple of years. Verari's concept is the Forest Container. It is a portable, scale-out data center supporting a lot of storage and compute power. In addition to Verari blade servers, traditional machines can be accommodated as needs dictate, according to Gatti.

Forest Container
Verari's data center in a box: the Forest Container

"The Forest Container houses up to 2,880 servers or 26PB of storage capacity can be rapidly deployed at about 50 percent of the capital and operating expense of traditional brick-and-mortar data centers," said Gatti.

The x86 container is 40-feet long, 8-feet wide and 9.5 high. Once ordered, it can be operational in less than six weeks. It can be tailored for extreme temperatures, rough terrain, and placed indoors or outdoors.

"The server marketplace is evolving with data center consolidation, energy efficiency/green IT, cloud computing and Web 2.0," said Gatti. "Verari is meeting these trends with our Forest Container."

DataValet for Your Storage Pleasure

Gatti also calls attention to the company's cloud offering known as DataValet. This is a self-managing clustered storage for all types of unstructured data. Clusters are self-configuring, self-managing and self-healing in order to optimize performance.

"Verari introduced the DataValet storage solution for the cloud storage, Web 2.0, video surveillance and medical imaging markets that are influencing the need for scale-out, hardware and software storage solutions," said Gatti.

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