Scalable ATCA – Expandable future-proof chassis to support the next two generations

Scalable ATCA – Expandable future-proof chassis to support the next two generations

Blade servers are evolving at a rapid pace. With server replacement cycles averaging three to four years, every new generation offers much higher density, thereby increasing the cooling and power requirements for the enclosure. While traditional enclosures offer a rigid approach that obligates customers to waist valuable real-estate and money today to cope with the cooling and power requirements of the next generation blades, Asis’ MaXum ATCA product line introduces a revolutionary expandable approach that allows customers to pay exactly for what they need, while supporting scalability requirements for the next two blade generations.

Constant inefficiencies – paying more for future needs

Purchasing IT equipment is always tricky. In order to cope with scalability and future needs, at any point in time you end up investing more than what you need. In other words, you are constantly under-utilizing your infrastructure to support future scale. These inefficiencies are not only a matter of the capital investment, it is also the cost of running the over-sized equipment in terms of its power consumption, noise, etc.

The diagram below show the evolution of payload blades versus the evolution of the average ATCA chassis technologies. The first diagram compares the blades’ power consumption requirements to the chassis cooling. As mentioned above, replacement cycles occur every three to four years. This means that if, for example, you purchased a chassis in 2007, when chassis cooling technologies had just moved to 300W per slot, your cooling requirements were still well under 200W per slot and would not reach the 300W capacity until 2015.

Stats on ATCA chassis cooling vs Blades power consumption

Chassis Cooling Vs. Blades Power Consumption

In addition, limitations in chassis form factors that could support carrier-grade environments, also created scale inefficiencies. Until recently smaller AdvancedTCA chassis (e.g. 6-slot chassis) with horizontal blades did not offer front-to-back cooling and consequently could not be placed in a carrier grade environment. That meant that even if the application required a smaller chassis, solution providers were still obligated to use large 14 slot ATCA chassis, which were more expensive and consumed more power.

The solution – scalable ATCA infrastructure

By combining new power and cooling efficiency technologies, a wide variety of carrier-grade form factors, and expandable chassis, Asis’ new MaXum ATCA product line offers a solution to the challenges mentioned above.

  • An entire product line based on the same platform – the MaXum product line offer shared components and building blocks across a wide range of configurations and sizes. Therefore, new capacity requirements can be addressed by simply moving the blades from one enclosure to another without additional development and/or customizations.
  • Front-to-back cooling in smaller chassis based on SphereFlow™ technology – Asis’ unique patent-pending Sphere Flow™ technology enables real front-to-back cooling of horizontal blades. This outstanding innovation enables the use of mid-sized 6- slot chassis in carrier-grade environments, while remaining NEBS compliant. Finally, solution providers can enjoy the flexibility to offer the right size for their application and deployment needs.

Front-to-back Cooling of Mid-sized ATCA Chassis based on Sphereflow

Dynamic Cooling technology – Asis’ Dynamic Cooling technology directs the necessary airflow to each blade according to its heat performance, delivering the exact amount of cooling necessary for each blade at all times. This is especially important for oversized or partially populated enclosures. Instead of utilizing the full cooling capacity of the chassis, Dynamic Cooling ensures outstanding power efficiency and the ability to scale up the power when needed.

Dynamic Cooling Technology

AC Power Scalability – MaXum’s AC power solution offers the ability to scale according to the increasing demand for power, while maintaining full redundancy. N+1 and N+N redundancy can be implement using a single power supply tray. For greater power requirements, two power supply trays can be installed, which can house up to ten power supply units, all without removing the chassis from the cabinet.

ATCA AC Power Scalability

Pre-integrated switchMaXum’s 400S features the INTERA™ switch slot technology, a dedicated switch card slot that frees up to two additional payload slots. Asis has partnered with leading manufacturers to offer fully-featured INTERA™ switches. Since the integrated shelf performs more processing (by providing two additional blades on the chassis), it dramatically reduces the cost per GB of processing, allowing additional scalability options, while remaining in a mid-sized chassis.

Intera Pre-integrated Switch

Asis MaXum product line is the world’s first ATCA chassis designed to enable scalability and efficiency. The MaXum future-proof chassis can support the scalability requirements for the next two blade generations, while at the same time its efficiency technologies ensure that underutilized or partially populated chassis remain power efficient. In other words, it provides exactly what you need at any point in time.


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