RLX Combines Server Density With Power Savings

By Amy Newman (Send Email)
Posted May 8, 2001


RLX Technologies Tuesday joined the growing crowd of vendors making strides toward ultra-dense, power-efficient servers with the release of its RLX 324 Web server.

This release follws on Compaq and Intel''s Monday announcement of their partnering to develop front-end servers with low power consumption and increased density (see Are You Dense? Intel, Compaq Are Proud to Be ).

The RLX 324 consists of ServerBlade modules and the RLX Control Tower. These components make the offering eight times denser than products currently on the market, enable it to exhibit a performance increase of six to eight times that of previous models, and provide a power savings of five to ten times. Mike Swavely, chief operating officer for RLX, describes the product as a "step function improvement" in server technology.

RLX Technologies Tuesday joined the growing crowd of vendors making strides toward ultra-dense, power-efficient servers with the release of its RLX 324 Web server.

This release follws on Compaq and Intel's Monday announcement of their partnering to develop front-end servers with low power consumption and increased density (see Are You Dense? Intel, Compaq Are Proud to Be ).

This improvement is achieved largely by RLX''s use of the Transmeta-Crusoe processor, which enables the Web server to operate easily at speeds of up to 633 MHz.

The high-end server is being marketed to companies that depend on high-powered Web servers to stay functional. Internet data centers of ASPs, ISPs, and hosting and colocation companies are some of the organizations RLX intends to target.

The RLX 324 is a turnkey solution designed to fit into an enterprise''s established environment with minimal configuration, Swavely told ServerWatch. Enterprises have the option of configuring ServerBlades to work with Windows 2000 or Red Hat Linux. Both are preloaded and carry a wide assortment of preloaded tools to simplify deployment and improve ease of use.

The ServerBlades consume 80 percent less power than traditional Web servers at peak performance and generate 80 percent less heat. At the idle state, each ServerBlade consumes 7 watts of electricity, a sharp contrast to Cobalt''s 72 watts and Compaq''s 75 watts, Swavely said.

The RLX Control Tower is designed to hold eight times the density of a traditional 1U design. It can hold 336 servers per 42U rack and 24 servers per 3U modular enclosure. Each server holds three network interface cards, resulting in 20 TB of storage capacity per rack.

Like ServerBlades, the RLX Control Tower was designed with maximum efficiency in mind. It offers a tool-free, serviceable design with system and diagnostic LEDs. The RLX Control Tower also offers 12-to-1 cable consolidation, resulting in only five network cables per 24 servers. Also, as monitors and keyboards are not needed in a data center, according to Swavely, they are not a required element of the RLX 324. This enables RLX to minimize the number of fans required to one per power supply, Swavely noted. And only one power supply is required per 24 servers. Thus, further cost and power efficiency.

The RLX 324 Web Server is built-to-order with a 48-hour time lag to ship. The server is highly scalable, allowing enterprises to start with one ServerBlade and work their way up.

Pricing starts at $2,599 for the chassis, with processor prices ranging from $1,449 for a 633 MHz, 128 MB, 10 GB Linux processor to $2,369 for a 633 MHz, 512 MB, 30 GB Windows-powered processor.

RLX is running a special through July 31, whereby enterprises can purchase the server with a Linux-based three pack of 633 MHz, 256 MB, 10 GB for $4,499, or a similar Windows-powered configuration for $4,999. Offer is limited to one package per enterprise.

RLX technologies was founded in January 2000. Despite market conditions, the company has received three infusions of venture capital funding, the latest in February 2001.



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