Boston Quattro 1332-T review
Combines high server density and low power consumption to form an ideal cloud platform
Review Date: 2 Jan 2012
Reviewed By: Dave Mitchell
Price when reviewed: £7,995 (£9,594 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Cloud computing is driving a huge demand for ever greater rack density, and Boston’s latest server takes this to the next level. In this exclusive review we examine the new Quattro 1332-T, which packs eight modular server nodes into a 3U chassis.
This isn’t Boston’s first microserver: its Green Power 2200-T also delivered eight server nodes in a 2U chassis. That was certainly innovative, but it actually had four nodes, each with two integrated servers, and its Intel Atom processors limited it to running undemanding business apps.
The 1332-T has no such weakness. It showcases Supermicro’s MicroCloud initiative, and its Intel Xeon E3 processor is aimed firmly at microserver applications. Unlike the 2200-T, each hot-swap server node is completely independent and supports the full range of Xeon E3 processors – and much more memory.
The chassis has two hot-swap 1,620W 80 Gold Plus-certified power supplies, which mate with the hard disk backplane at the front via an edge connector card. At the front are 16 hot-swap drive bays, divided equally among the nodes so each one gets a pair of drives in front of it.
The node motherboard also has an integral edge connector that plugs directly into the backplane, where it receives power and allotted storage. The boards have two 6Gbits/sec SATA III interfaces, and the Intel C204 chipset supports mirrors and stripes. The price above includes a full house of 1TB WD Enterprise SATA III drives.
For virtualisation, the nodes have an internal USB port, and a USB pin header for booting into an embedded hypervisor. There’s also an embedded SATA II port with a power header next to it, so you can boot the node from a SATA DOM.
The nodes pack in plenty of features: their Xeon E3 processors are mounted with solid passive heatsinks and the four attendant DIMM sockets support up to 32GB of memory. A small riser card behind the memory sockets presents two Gigabit Ethernet ports at the rear, and opposite this is a PCI Express expansion riser for a half-height, half-length card.
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