NEC tilts at webscale servers with 46 Atom boards in 2U chassis

Phwoar! 3,000-plus cores in a rack will be a snack

Japan's NEC has unleashed a new “micro modular server” it hopes will get it into the webscale computing caper.

Released last month but shown for the first time outside Japan at World Hosting Day in Singapore yesterday, the server is a 2U beast that houses custom servers running Atom C2000-series processors on dainty little boards that also pack 32GB of RAM and a 128GB solid state disk. The servers sit 18 abreast in the chassis, with two full ranks separated from a smaller third rank of ten by a lovely bank of fans.

The Atoms offered are either the 2.40 GHz C2750 or the 1.70 Ghz C2730. Both pack eight cores, so there's a chance to put 352 cores in harness. Readers with good multiplication skills needn't worry about The Reg's: two of the servers are given over to management duty, so only 44 are dedicated to workloads.

Other permutations are possible as users can ditch a server in favour of 1TB spinning rust, for applications that need more storage.

Not negotiable if you want to do useful work are the two network switch modules, which offer eight 10GB ethernet and a pair of 40GB ethernet ports.

NEC is unsurprisingly pitching the servers at service providers, cloud-scale operators, Hadoop users and even HPC users. That pitch isn't just being made on the core density a rack of these machines provides: Intel's greenery and the resulting electricity savings are also advanced as desirable qualities.

The Reg briefly played with the server and can report it is almost Lego-like: all components are equipped with clips that allow them to be dropped in and out of the chassis with marvellous ease. NEC prefers to show off its hardware when discussing larger deals, so you may need to ask nicely if you want to play yourself. ®

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