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Hardware Technology

Rack Mount BTX Case 75

CoolTyler5 writes "The TechZone has posted some information on the world's first ever rackmount MicroBTX chassis. The new patent pending chassis, made by General Technics, allows for more powerful processors and storage capability with a smaller, quieter and cooler MicroBTX form factor. The manufacturer also claims it's nearly silent and at 16 inches deep, will fit into most short depth rack cabinets." Of course, the issue that we have at our data center is not really the physical space. Sure, we'd love more space but the power draw per square meter is at the county-maximum. It's great that we can cram more machines into a smaller foot print, but powering all of them is the issue.
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Rack Mount BTX Case

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  • by Simon Brooke ( 45012 ) * <stillyet@googlemail.com> on Monday December 26, 2005 @10:07AM (#14339407) Homepage Journal

    This may not be relevant to those of you who work in large data centres, but for those of us in smaller shops with a few servers in a small rack, being able to fit a more powerful server into less space is useful.

    • Since the article is touting the Pentium 4 D as processor, it is already a bad choice to run :). Opterons can be put into 1U easy and are superior to a P4 D server. Why would anyone not use Opterons/AMD 64 X2s today in servers, especially for small companies is beyond me. How is this rackmount different from a 1U?
    • Let's see. You're all excited about it's 16" depth, because it will save space.

      Realistically, nobody cares too much about depth in a rack, because very few racks are installed to accommodate only 24" of server. On a rack system, it's all about height.

      This thing looks like it's a whopping 4U tall! Sure, maybe it's only 3U tall, but that's still missing the point. If you want to save space, you buy a 1U tall server, that way you can install 3 (or 4) of them in the same space. Since you will hardly be abl
      • It looks like it's 2 5 1/4" drives tall, which is usually a 2u case, but regardless, that's important info that's omitted in this article. More importantly, however, is the utter lack, it seems, of hot swapping. Yeah, it's got 5 drive bays, but if you've got to power down the server to swap a bad disk out, what's the point? The writer seemed to be more about "oooh shiney" and less about the things that actually matter in a server room.
        • Actually, I think it's at least 3U; although, it seems more like 4U to me. As far _I_ am concerned, this would only be useful if I needed a couple full height cards in there. Mind you, I only looked at one picture, so, for all I know, this is too small to allow that.
    • I'm trying to see how this is better than Supermicro's 2U 6024H-T (http://www.supermicro.com/products/system/2U/602 4 /SYS-6024H-T.cfm [supermicro.com]) or even thier 1U 6014P-TR (http://www.supermicro.com/products/system/1U/6014 /SYS-6014P-TR.cfm [supermicro.com]) which holds 4 hot-swap SATA drives, dual PS, Dual Intel® 64-bit Xeon®. Slap in 4x250GB drives and you have 1 (one) Helluva terabyte server at a very decent price. We use these for showing people pictures of other peoples' bathrooms (http://windermere.com/ [windermere.com] among other t
  • Gives you more space to play cricket. Or just to stuff around.
  • Advertising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mysqlrocks ( 783488 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @10:15AM (#14339424) Homepage Journal
    OK, this is a little off topic. I'm supposed to trust information from a web site called "The Tech Zone" that allows those fake ad dialog boxes saying, "Your computer may be infected with harmful spyware programs..."? Shady.
    • Get AdBlock for firefox. Problem solved. Now there's one less obvious indicator of the dodginess of a website.
      • Re:Advertising (Score:3, Informative)

        by mysqlrocks ( 783488 )
        Get AdBlock for firefox. Problem solved. Now there's one less obvious indicator of the dodginess of a website.

        I can pretty easily sort out the junk. I don't mind advertising in general, so no need for AdBlock. What I don't like our ads that try to trick people or sites that have we too much advertising. I know instantly that it's a fake dialog box, but it's a pretty shady advertising technique non-the-less. Publishers have control over what ads go on their sites, so it indicates that it's a pretty shade
    • by bender647 ( 705126 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @10:42AM (#14339489)
      My favorite is "Your registry may need cleaning" when I'm using Solaris.
      • or "Your Microsoft Outlook may be vulnerable" when I use webmail exclusively.
  • Patent pending? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tet ( 2721 ) <slashdot@astradyn[ ]o.uk ['e.c' in gap]> on Monday December 26, 2005 @10:18AM (#14339429) Homepage Journal
    The new patent pending chassis [...]

    So let me get this straight. They've taken an industry standard form factor motherboard, and put it in an industry standard form factor rackmount case... and that's worthy of a patent?

    • Patent PENDING. Maybe it won't be granted if its flimsy enough.
      • Patent PENDING. Maybe it won't be granted if its flimsy enough.

        Ha! Ha ha HA HA! Yes, you gave me quite a laugh there. We are, after all, talking about an American company. And we all know how strict the USPTO is with granting patents!

    • It is hard to tell since the article is silent on it but it's probably a design patent which only covers the appearance of the device, not its functionality. Practically useless for a product like this.
    • Don't you know the American way? Nail two things together that haven't been nailed together before and some poor schmuck will buy it. :P
    • They've taken an industry standard form factor motherboard, and put it in an industry standard form factor rackmount case... and that's worthy of a patent?

      A system and method for automatically creating a racked computer that is useable to access the functionality of an industry standard computer system coupled to a rack. The method may operate to connect to the rack system and obtain information specifying functionality of the rack system. The information obtained may be analyzed programmatically, and new i
  • by Realistic_Dragon ( 655151 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @10:28AM (#14339452) Homepage
    Fill half your data center, use the rest to house illegal immigrants or store cia!is pills for $$profit$$.
  • ahoy (Score:3, Funny)

    by Eil ( 82413 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @10:28AM (#14339455) Homepage Journal

    "...but we try not to indulge in naval gazing."
  • This case is being made out to be a leap in technology. Yippie skippy, it's a BTX case. The same thing could be achieved in the ATX formfactor. Could someone enlighten me why this is such a special case? Quiet low power rackmounts have been done before.
    • Yeah, I don't understand BTX either. It just seems to be change for the sake of change. Sure, there are some good ideas in BTX, but nothing that I see that couldn't be implemented in ATX while still maintaining compatibility with most of the ATX parts already out there.
  • by Ritz_Just_Ritz ( 883997 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @10:37AM (#14339477)
    1. Firstly, how does a blatant advertisement like this get posted in the first place?

    2. It's only 16" deep, but it's THREE RU tall. Where's this "space savings" they're talking about? 1/2RU, 1RU, and blade servers are where it's at for saving space.

    Happy Boxing Day!
    • I don't think BTX was ever meant for rack mount either, but rather consumer computers. There are other standardized form factors for that. Where BTX (or ATX) saves is using commodity parts, so you can make a cheap server.

      I'm not that convinced that BTX is really necessary other than to increase royalties to Intel. The full size ATX standard and cases could have been to provide most or all of the benefits of BTX. The mini and micro ATX standards failed, so I don't see what could be done with BTX that get
    • but it's THREE RU tall. Where's this "space savings" they're talking about?

      I thought my eyes were deceiving me. 3u. Huh?

      In a standard 42 cabinet, that's just 14 machines--assuming you have no switches, patch panels, power strips, UPSes or the like eating into your usable space.

      Hmmm... even the quiet-factor doesn't matter much--I don't know of too many desks that sit *in* a server room/colo.

      Normally, I'm very appreciative of datacenter goodies... am I just missing something with this?

  • by kd3bj ( 733314 )
    The most cost effective way to achieve density [IMHO]is with 2ux2.com chassis.
  • instead of Intel P4/Xeon blast furnaces. Then you won't need to switch chassis designs, you'll spend a helluva lot less on electricity, and you should be able to use all your rack space without the county fire marshall ticketing you. Really, this shouldn't be news by now.

    Heck, even the standard Opteron dualcores are probably good enough depending on just how bad your power-density problems are. The 55W max HE's are just particularly impressive.
  • This is an obvious ad! Also, that goes for all of the linked site! They have these fake hyperlinks in the text that are just ads. This is total crap and should not be here.
  • maybe I am a novice, but wouldnt a 1U or even a blade save a lot more space?
  • If they put it in upright, with the bottom to the front, they can save even more depth. OK, it will be only possible to put in two of each in a rack.

    Patent pending.
  • If power is your problem, Sun is your solution. Check out the new Ultrasparc T1 powered servers, huge performance at tiny tiny power draw.
  • by Name Anonymous ( 850635 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @11:24AM (#14339608)
    Get a 1RU Sun Fire T1000 Server [sun.com] - 8 Core UltraSPARC processor with low power utilization .

    And it's only 19" deep. so that's really a lot of processing power in a small footprint.

    WHo needs a rackmount microBTX system to save space and energy?

  • ...have a look at the new Sun Opteron servers.
  • by hitchhikerjim ( 152744 ) on Monday December 26, 2005 @11:49AM (#14339678)
    Yeah -- not that useful for a data center because space is no longer the big issue for a lot of people.

    But for musicians, having a quiet machine that sits in a rack that isn't too deep means I can put a system in the same rack as the rest of my gear. Can you say portable pro-tools? and for my home setup, I've got 3 or 4 systems. For years I've wanted to get them all rack-mount so that they can be in a neat stack rather than sitting on the floor under desks... but then i stop when I realize how loud rackmount systems are.

    So it's useful for some poeople I think.
    • But for musicians, having a quiet machine that sits in a rack that isn't too deep means I can put a system in the same rack as the rest of my gear.

      The only noisy parts of a machine are the moving parts - fans and disk drives. The new fluid-bearing hard disks are very quiet (about 30dB) so fans will be your biggest concern.

      With some mini-ITX C3-based systems, you don't need fans at all. A C3 may or may not be fast enough for what you're doing. If it is, then great. If not, then you'll want the fans you d

      • With some mini-ITX C3-based systems, you don't need fans at all. A C3 may or may not be fast enough for what you're doing. If it is, then great.

        A ProTools rig chews up the processing power of the largest processors out there-- a C3 would be the bits stuck between its teeth. So the GP's point is valid. If this thing really is quiet and powerful, there is a (small, admittedly) market. Audio engineers already have racks for other equipment; sticking the computer in there is a logical follow-through of the i
  • doesn't (Score:1, Troll)

    by akhomerun ( 893103 )
    this doesn't really change the fact that BTX blows and that the only people who even need BTX are the ones running Xeon furnaces even though Opterons that cost the same perform up to twice as fast and produce less heat and use less electricity.

    and for the number of ads that are at "thetechzone" i would think they would be able to afford better hosting so there wouldn't be any slashdot effect.
    • i guess i'm a troll since everything i said was right.
      • I don't normally "feed trolls", but since you posted as your username and not as AC (not that it means much), I figure maybe you are serious, and really wanted to make a point. So first off, you don't want to be marked "troll"? Part of it was how you wrote your posting. Let's examine the original post:

        this doesn't really change the fact that BTX blows and that the only people who even need BTX are the ones running Xeon furnaces even though Opterons that cost the same perform up to twice as fast and produce

  • If your county doesn't serve businesses well, then move to another county that does. I'm sure the new county will be happy to have the employment move in.

    • Assuming that the comment on county imposed power/floor space limits aren't Hemos's idea of a joke: The county may have good reason to limit how much power is being dissapated per square foot - cooling usually means air conditioning and there can be hard limits about how many compressors you can put on a building.
      • sounds like we need to make buildings with 'short floors' so their can be more 'square feet' inside the same size box. Still, number of KVA/KW available is a limiting factor.

        Best idea is to use 'green' (I hate that term) equipment -- energy efficient, and design the applications so it can run on fewer cycles (no java based servers, reduce CPU hog and memory hog requirements.

        Hey, mabe this is the time to re-code everything into assembler and run it on VERY low power CPUs like ARMS (and other), possibly drop
      • If they need a specific amount of equipment that uses a specific amount of power, then it seems silly to require them to expand to a larger building if the existing building is capable of handling the cooling load. This is just a ploy to force businesses to occupy more land so the county gets more land tax revenue.

  • We've been using virtualization technology for some time, but not on production server systems. We are considering doing that now for a variety of reasons (not the least of which include facilitating software upgrades and disaster recovery by leveraging the hardware abstraction layer). Because we run a [un?]healthy mix of operating systems, we are currently looking at VMware [vmware.com], but perhaps OSDN is in a position for considering Xen [cam.ac.uk]? It might well help your power needs scale much better.

    Isn't there some C

  • The "article" is lame, partly because it's a rehashed press release, but mostly because there's no link to the actual product. (Or so buried that I couldn't find it in the midst of all the ads and sponsored links.)

    Anyway, the actual product is here: http://gtweb.net/j3150.html [gtweb.net]

  • If power and heat are issues in your data center you need to check out some of the new systems Sun Microsystems is putting out. They drasticly reduce power needed as well as heat generated which translates into significant savings for A/C costs.

    Check them out. There are a number of good options, and you can use Solaris, Linux, or even windos depending on the system you choose.
  • I'd say it's time to move.

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