San Jose (CA) – If power consumption is what counts in a blade server environment, then there is a new option on the market: Supermicro launched a Atom-based product using 4 watt and 8 watt Intel Atom processors, which may not rank among the most capable servers, but offer just enough horsepower for some basic applications, such as home media delivery systems.
I was among the very few journalists who criticized Intel’s Nehalem Xeon 5500 processors due to their increased bottom line power consumption. An interesting discussion resulted from my claims and one reader even so far suggesting that I would only be happy with an Atom-based server. It seems to be a funny comment at first, but I seriously wondered what a parallelized multi-blade Atom server would be capable of.
Now we can find out. Supermicro recently announced the 5x0-200 blade server chassis, which supports Intel’s low end processors including Core 2 Duos, Xeon 3000s, Celeron 400s - and Atom 200 and 300 series processors with Diamondville core (single- and dual-core). It is a fanless design that includes a 200 watt power supply and a 3.5” or 2.5” HDD bay. 9.6” by 9.6” motherboards are supported and Supermicro claims that the entire unit weighs just 10 pounds.
The company did not release pricing information. However street prices appear to hover around $300 with a dual core Atom 330 CPU.
Supermicro’s Atom server is the first blade server of its kind we are aware of, but, of course, it isn’t the first Atom server on the market. For example, HP’s Home Media server (about $400) is based on the tiny CPU and there are plenty of small system builders selling Atom servers in traditional mini tower cases.