NEW YORK — ZNYX, a designer of Advanced TCA high-density server products for mission-critical environments, is aiming beyond the telecommunications market with its release of a front-to-back cooled chassis for its midsized Ultra5 server blade platform.
“The breakthrough in this platform is that in the midsized ATCA chassis you typically see side-to-side cooling,” Kevin Austin, director of OEM at ZNYX Networks, told EE Times. “What we announced [on Tuesday] is front-to-back cooling in a very small form factor. We now have a strong product line in these midsized chassis.”
ZNYX, which has technology centers in California and Mississippi, collaborated with Asis-Pro, a global designer and manufacturer of complete enclosure systems for ATCA, CompactPCI, and custom applications. ZNYX now offers its platform to diverse environments of limited space.
AdvancedTCA (ATCA) front-to-back cooled chassis in its midsized Ultra5 server blade platform.
Austin said these products complement the Ultra5 chassis product line. ZNYX had been talking to customers about their requirements and found that many, in Asia especially, relied on multiple racks in their central offices. What they were looking to do, Austin said, was take the same applications and move nodes to smaller areas with lower population density. Those areas do not require as much equipment, so they were looking to downsize from the full 14-slot chassis to the midsize.
“We saw a huge opportunity outside of the telecom market. Part of the market we saw taking off was in government and defense,” said Austin, citing aerospace and mobile as specific areas that would take advantage of the server part of the ATCA. “The midsize really fits their space, their power requirements and cooling requirements, whereas the full-size did not fit into that envelope. A lot of the growth we’ve seen has been outside of that traditional telecom market.”
ZNYX’s new solution also features Ethernet switching at 10 Gbit/s as well as connectivity on the back of those switches, said Dave Parkinson, vice president of engineering at ZNYX Networks. “That 10 Gig switching is something we’ve had for some time. The ZX 2000 side-by-side platform we have announced has 40 Gbit/s capability. We’re seeing a push from higher density processing capability for traffic that these boxes are handling. Along with that is increased bandwidth between ATCA blades processing that information. ZNYX is addressing the switch from 10 to 40 Gbit/s connectivity both from a switching standpoint and with processing that can handle that traffic.”
The Ultra5 chassis now features an integral AC and DC option, as well as dual redundant, hot-swappable PEMS or up to four 1,600 watt smart IPMI power supplies for N+1 or N+N redundancy; and 450 W/blade power distribution. The cooling scheme uses eight powerful fans that provide 65 CFM per slot, designed for CPUs that consume a great deal of power as well as switch-blade servers. The chassis can be fitted with up to two shelf managers based on Pigeon Point Systems' IPM Sentry ShMM-500R or ShMM-700.
“You need infrastructure for ATCA,” Austin said. “You need connectivity to other devices. You need a shelf manager that monitors all the hardware to the chassis. All of these infrastructure items before you are what set us apart as we take these and bundle them together. With traditional ATCA there is not a combined card; you have to use up slots that you put a server blade in. We imagined this product line. We wanted to get rid of some of the inefficiencies with ATCA and make it more affordable for someone using midsized platforms. That’s the huge benefit over another ATCA vendor.”
Austin also noted, on the technical side of things, higher signaling rates on the backplane. “Whereas right now we’re at 40 Gbit/s, in the future we will see up to 80 Gbit/s of backplane with multiple 40 Gig channels between the slots.”
Asked about the future of the ATCA standard, Austin sounded bullish. “We see ATCA breaking out of a telecom market, but that’s fairly specific to the technology we integrate into our products. We spent a lot of money in R&D on software we’re promoting on our own to bring cost-effective virtualization to our platforms. We see huge potential growth opportunity outside of telecom by using virtual machines to scale applications.”
— Zewde Yeraswork, Associate Editor, EE Times