Egenera Blades Keep Cool

By Clint Boulton (Send Email)
Posted Jan 27, 2006


Egenera, a maker of blade servers that power utility computing systems, Wednesday released the third major iteration of its BladeFrame chassis with new cooling technology. The machines are piping data faster but the gear isn't getting hotter.

Blade servers are considered a popular alternative to Big Iron mainframes. Instead of one big machine, some organizations have taken to incorporating several modular blade server racks in their data centers, citing cost and maintenance savings.

Egenera, along with vendors IBM, HP, and Dell, is hoping to ride this modular computing wave to increase server revenues. The company's BladeFrame EX includes a new blade configuration that doubles the system's previous performance and Ethernet connectivity.

The Control Blade, with eight fabric connectors (24 blades can fit in a BladeFrame chassis), can offer almost triple the network performance and double the disk performance of its predecessor, the Marlboro, Mass., company said in a statement.

Moreover, the fabric bandwidth has been boosted to 10 gigabits per second. The Control Blade can also be upgraded to support 4Gb Fibre Channel and 10Gb Ethernet, a couple additional performance perks at a time when customers can't get enough of them.

Although the new BladeFrame EX machines are backward-compatible with preexisting Egenera systems, a new "cooling" agreement with Emerson Network Power helps ease the addition of performance upgrades.

In what the companies are calling the CoolFrame solution, Emerson Network Power's Liebert XD cooling technology has been sprinkled into the Egenera BladeFrame EX system to allow customers to run servers in their data centers without adding heat to their infrastructure.

The Liebert XD technology directly cools down a server rack, with a pumping unit or chiller and overhead piping system. Flexible piping connects Liebert XD cooling modules to the gear, making it easy to add modules or reconfigure the blade server.

A single chiller provides 160 kilowatts of liquid-cooling capacity for up to eight BladeFrame EX systems. The cooling modules do not impact the BladeFrame EX system's cable management features and add no power requirements.

Together, CoolFrame and BladeFrame EX reduces the heat dissipation of the rack to the room from as much as 20,000 watts to a maximum of 1,500 watts without impacting the performance of the processor cores.

Such technology is a valuable perk because heat from servers can wreak havoc on data-center equipment, limiting its longevity. CIOs concerned about budgeting for energy costs welcome the cooler data centers.

The CoolFrame solution will be available on BladeFrame EX by the second quarter of this year.

In related news, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, Egenera's exclusive partner in Europe, Middle East and Africa, has incorporated BladeFrame EX into its Primergy brand BladeFrame.

This article was originally published on internetnews.com.

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