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Mac Pro Servers Utilize LEGO-Style Array

Jun 23, 13 Mac Pro Servers Utilize LEGO-Style Array

Apple recently announced a new radically different form factor for its Mac Pro line, and this week MacStadium has announced a new deployment option. This could take the miniature Mac Pro and utilize these computers as part of a high-density server hosting environment.

Slashgear noted that the servers offer a “Lego-like array,” as these are sacked on the side, almost a bit like a wine rack. The LEGO reference is especially timely as we’ve seen a number of LEGO-related reports in the news, including the fact that a playset version of the Mars Rover Curiosity is in the works.

What is also notable is that MacStadium even suggested that the Mac Pro hasn’t exactly caught fire in the world of servers for several reasons.

“In the world of Hosting and Colocation, the Mac Pro’s have never really been very popular because of their large physical foot print, high power draw, and slightly aged architecture. And you can forget about the XServe’s. The only model slightly worth consideration are the 2009 Nehalem CPU models; and those are almost impossible to find since Apple stopped producing them on January 31, 2011,” Jmichaud posted on the MacStadium blog.

“Fast forward a couple years, and now Apple has announced its new Mac Pro computing platform which is very worthy of admiration, and has been designed using the latest and greatest server grade components from Intel. This new core architecture is more than enough to stand up to anything that HP, Dell, or IBM has to offer; and is sure to challenge anybodys conception that there are server limitations inherent in this Apple Mac,” the post added.

In truth, the design of the POD is impressive, as MacStadium could stack the units on the side 15 units tall, nine across and two deep. This would in essence mean that 270 Mac Pro units could sit in a space that is just 12 square feet; or a fraction of what many typical servers take up today. Connectivity will include Gigabit Ethernet so this could be speedy, and it could provide serious computing power.

This is made possible because of the new design of the Mac Pro 2013, which was unveiled last week at WWDC 2013. Instead of a mere update to the Mac Pro, which had long been a silver tower, the new units are 9.9-inch tall and 6.6-inch in diameter cylinder reported Slashgear.

The Mac Pro 2013 features some serious hardware inside including a next generation Xeon E5 CPU’s in single or dual configuration with up to 12 physical cores, and up to 128GB of Quad Channel 1866Ghz ECC RAM @ 60 GBps of memory bandwidth. The device will run a variety of OS including OS X, Windows, CentOS, Ubuntu and even Virtualization platforms.

Moreover, this design also utilizes a single oversized fan that reportedly resembles an impeller on an aircraft. It is positioned horizontally on top of the tower when standing upright, but also makes it ideal for the use in the MacStadium array as the fan would at the front of the server. This helps give it that LEGO appearance that seems to be getting all the buzz. Of course with 270 units in the array, even with low fan noise, something tells us this setup could generate some noise in other ways, but look so cool in the process.

Image Credit: MacStadium

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About 

Peter Suciu is a freelance writer and has covered consumer electronics, technology, electronic entertainment and the fitness sports industry for more than 15 years. In that time his work has appeared in more than three dozen publications including Newsweek, PC Magazine and Wired. His work has also appeared on Forbes.com, Inc.com, Cnet.com, and Fortune.com. Peter is a regular writer for redOrbit.com.

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1 Comment

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