New Approaches to Server Hardware on the Rack Level
A new technology implementation approach is poised to make upgrading your business’s data center hardware easier and more effective. Rack Scale Architecture is a new way to look at utilizing server power by pooling resources between servers within the rack instead of treating the rack as just a physical container to house hardware. This concept allows the servers housed in the rack to share assets as needed which not only makes the servers more powerful, but also makes them more efficient. Intel’s inter-device, high-speed communication technology OmniPath fabric is essential in making this new server approach a reality. OmniPath was designed to address mass-node supercomputing, but it also has applications for improving server clusters.
Easy Access, Cluster-based Upgrading
Rack level upgrades make sense on a utilitarian level. Instead of needing to pull out and disassemble multiple servers to issue upgrades, IT staff can apply upgrades to all devices via an easy-to-access module or box. Upgrading server hardware to keep up with application demand can be a tedious, inefficient process when servers act as islands because your IT staff needs to issue upgrades individually. If two servers need minor memory upgrades your IT staff may opt to install two 4GB RAM modules in each device; however, if those two servers could share the memory, your staff could install two 8GB RAM modules in a shared memory asset at a lower cost.
This concept is also very helpful in cases where a bunch of servers only need minor memory upgrades. Instead of upgrading several servers tailoring to specific hardware demands, upgrading on the rack level allows your IT staff to create a hardware pool that is available for all the servers as needed. This allows for future upgrade scaling even when your business is unsure which servers will need it.
Being able to share things like CPU, GPU, and memory means that servers have access to hardware power during peak usage time when needed. That hardware is also available for other servers when not in use by the primary server. It’s typical for data center servers to run at very low utilization rates, thus wasting electricity powering unused resources. This means your company can pool that unused hardware overhead and get as much work done with less hardware and energy expenses. Data centers using server rack architecture can also take advantage of more efficient, specialized cooling meeting the specific component temperature management needs as a group instead of within individual servers.
Virtualization Benefits: The Big Picture
Server Virtualization allows a group of higher powered servers to act as a greater number of lower powered servers. Virtualization improves efficiency and reduces hardware dependency. Being able to upgrade servers on the rack level will allow your business even greater flexibility when handling virtual machines.
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