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A close look at Intel's microserver

Intel wants Web hosting companies to buy very small machines it calls microservers. Here's a look at the prototypes.

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CNET Reviews staff
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1 of 4 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Intel's microserver

Intel is pushing the idea of "microservers"--small systems that can be densely packed in a larger chassis.

Jason Waxman, general manager of Intel's high-density computing group, said Thursday Intel plans to standardize the design through the Server System Infrastructure Forum. The chipmaker is working on two designs, one with a quad-core processor available now and one with a lower-power dual-core processor due to arrive early in 2010.

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2 of 4 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Chassis full of microservers

This front view of Intel's system shows the lower bay filled with 16 "sleds" to house the hard drives. Each sled is a metal housing with three 2.5-inch hard drives mounted to it; Intel said it expects four will fit, too.

Although the design looks like a disk array, it's actually a relatively simple architecture in which each microserver gets its own group of hard drives.

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3 of 4 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Microserver chassis, side view

This view of the side and back of the chassis shows the 16 microservers on the top and the shared power and cooling systems on the back.
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4 of 4 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Microserver close-up

This close-up shows the microserver. On the bottom are the cooling fins to keep the processor from getting too hot. Above it are four memory modules. The metal connectors along the bottom link to the hard drives and four shared Ethernet ports.

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