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Intel, EMC Partner on Cloud Storage

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Intel, EMC and Cloud Storage

EMC and Intel have announced a joint effort to improve the energy efficiency of EMC’s
Atmos cloud storage system that should be available in the second half of next year.

The two companies have teamed up to improve the performance-per-watt of EMC’s cloud-based storage system.

Intel is also pursuing a new server design, what it calls “micro-servers,” that will
pack the power of a server onto a card no bigger than a PC video card. With some memory
and a Nehalem processor, these “micro-servers” can pack a lot of compute power into a
small space.

EMC’s Atmos is a hardware and software platform used in large-scale deployments to
spread data storage across several distributed datacenters. Earlier this year, EMC
announced a cloud
version of Atmos and its first customer, AT&T’s
Synaptic pay-as-you-go hosting service.

The biggest step in improved power management will be upgrading the Atmos to more
power-efficient Nehalem generation Xeon
servers. Other steps include intelligent power management to turn off disks when not in
use. The overall strategy is to improve the cost per megawatt of these petabyte-scale
storage systems.

This will also be a software solution. Intel’s Node Manager tool works with Nehalem
chips to reduce power consumption during idle periods. Also, Data Center Manager software
will cap the amount of power drawn by a pool of servers.

Details were scarce and expected to come out as the upgraded Atmos servers approach,
some time next year.

Smaller-scale designs

On the smaller scale of things, Intel also showed off its “micro server” prototype,
which it announced at the Intel Developer Forum last month. Intel’s

It’s based on a reference design that Intel created to show server makers the kind of
product they can build with its chips. Jason Waxman, general manager of Intel’s
high-density computing group, stressed that Intel has no intention of going into
competition with server vendors and its prototype was just that, a prototype.

The system is a 5U rack that holds 16 server cards, about the size of a GPU card. Each
server card has a Xeon L3426 processor, which consumes 45 watts of power, although Intel
plans to replace it with a 30-watt chip next year. There are also 16 storage bays.

Intel plans to promote an open spec of the micro-server and hope to publish the spec
through the Server System Infrastructure (SSI) organization next year.

Intel also announced the Cloud Builder Program, where it will work with eight software
partners — Citrix Systems, VMware, Parallels, Microsoft, Red Hat, Canonical, Univa UD
and the Xen consortium — to test various virtualization software workloads across

As part of the program, software vendors will test their software on large pools of
servers with the goal of coming up with ideal configurations that customers can then
replicate in their own datacenters.

Article courtesy of

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