Home Very small units

The new goal

We began to receive some demands for production-quality 1U servers, and our first release was only designed for fun, even though it still disserves its pages. Main targets are ISPs, parallel computing, and web stressing tools. Their common needs are :
  • very small units : even if we can't make them thinner than 1U (1.75in or 4.45cm), and narrower than 9in, we can try to reduce their depth to allow the use of smaller racks and increase the overall density.
  • low power consumption : we choose our components for a reduced consumption. Typically, a complete server running at full speed would need only 30W.
  • high computing power : the old 486 was a bit weak for today's applications. Now we will be using Celeron or Pentium III processors for higher computing power. The new model will come with at least one FastEthernet interface, plus a PCI slot for 4 additionnal ports or one GigaEthernet card.
  • reliability : only reliable hardware and software. Hard disks will be used only when absolutely necessary, and with journaled file-systems. The flash file-system will nearly always be mounted read-only to reduce risks of data corruption. Software re-initialization and servers swapping must be easy and fast in case of failure. Power supplies will be shareable between neighboor boxes.
  • ease of administration : the LCD panel will include a keypad for frontal administration, and good software for remote administration via SSH or web interface.
  • security : ability to lock the keypad and to lock accesses to the system through the use of a smart card. Flash file-system will be mounted read-only.

First attempt in design

None of us is a designer, but we put our hands on a 3D-modeler and got these results (click to enlarge) :

Rear view

Left view

Right view

Front view

And finally...

Where to find the components
  Home Very small units