back to article Rackable does cookie sheet servers

Boutique data center server and storage maker Rackable Systems has unveiled an homage to Google's original home grown servers - which were essentially bare motherboards thrown on cookie sheets with rubber mats and stacked in bakery racks. You can't charge a lot money for Google's server design, so Rackable's CloudRack racks …


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  1. E


    It really is OK to run my PCs with the lids off!

    Will Rackable let come to their cloud server vaults and smoke beside the servers?

  2. Eugene Crosser

    Vendor lock-in

    Blades that have the all the same advantages over traditional 1U servers as this design did not replace 1U servers for one reason: customers are wary of vendor lock-in. It is impossible to replace some of your blades with hardware from a different vendor. This cookie sheet design has the same problem. It's just about taking the worst from both worlds...


  3. Robert E A Harvey
    Thumb Down

    EMC RF I etc

    I have often wondered how people who sell those transparent PC cases get away with it.

    I assume that the front and back doors of these things have knittex gaskets? that the cables all run through a proper glanding plate at the bottom, with shield drain wires individually made off at the point of entry? That the filter cages on the blowers obey some "less than one wavelength" rule relative to the dominant clock frequencies?

    Or do we just hope that all the master clocks are out of sync with each other and the RFI cancels in the far field?

  4. TeeCee Gold badge
    IT Angle


    Pardon my ignorance, but what's a "muffin fan"? Is this some attempt at a play on the "baking tray" analogy or is it a term for small fans of a specific type that I've never heard before?

  5. Rick Leeming

    Reminds me of a homebrew setup...

    I remember seeing something similar done years ago. Guy was building a cluster for some university students to use, and just slapped a load of motherboards (P3s) onto a load of shelves, then powered them up. Never realised Google started out with the same idea. Mucho cheapness to do, and fixing things is so easy it's untrue.

  6. Martin Lyne


    "from a rack and then open it to fix it, you can't appreciate you much of a pain in the neck this is"

    How much of a pain this is?

    Unless I am personally being used to quantify amounts or something? Not impossible..

    Friday, yay!

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Missed opportunity

    To be REALLY efficient, they should fit heat pumps to the racks and route the heat to an industrial oven. The only problem would be selling the resulting cookies to the masses that believe "all server generated cookies are bad, will track you and report all your behaviour to the missus" (yes, the same ones that believe ZoneAlarm is worthwhile rather than the resource hog it is).

  8. RichyS
    Paris Hilton

    Publishing Prices

    I don't think anyone nips down to PC World to buy a 22U server and rack. It's not really surprising that they don't publish prices. Who on earth would look at thh HP or IBM website to price up their 22 servers, racking, etc.?

    And let's face it, if you're setting up a 'cloud' server farm, you're probably going to be buying several racks.

    At these levels, pricing is completely bespoke, even if the racks themselves aren't.

    Remember, eveything is negoitiable...

    Paris, 'cos she's open to negotiations...

  9. Nick
    Thumb Up


    Thats exactly what I need at home... Bet they're still +£1k per 'blade' though.

    Its always struck me as a bit pointless enclosing kit in a metal box when its going into a airconditioned, dust filtered, earthed, secure data centre. What does the metal box do other than stop heat escaping and prevent the DataTrolls from elecrocuting themselves?

  10. Michael Stevens


    Your </p is showing.

  11. Jay
    Thumb Up


    Sod the article, just seeing Cookie Monster has made my Friday! Ta El Reg!

  12. A J Stiles

    *A* homage

    The word "homage" begins with the consonant H. It should be written "a homage"; or perhaps "an 'omage" if you are trying to flaunt your lack of education or manners.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    QFT: "Sod the article, just seeing Cookie Monster has made my Friday! Ta El Reg!"

    Pity the picture is not in the main article.

  14. RichyS
    Paris Hilton

    @A J Stile

    Go back to school.

    I suppose you think it's 'a hotel' too...

    Paris, 'cos she's named after an hotel.

  15. Wayland Sothcott Bronze badge

    Vertical boards

    If you mount a PCB vertically it will shed heat faster due to convection. Heat rises. If the board is horizontal then the heat can get trapped in the casing or in a board that's stacked above it.

    Try mouting your ADSL router or Freeview box vertically and see if it runs cooler.

  16. James Mulroy
    Paris Hilton


    I don't understand .........

    Paris - Because ....... like seriously!

  17. Tom Cooke

    Bare motherboards

    Er, isn't this just going back to the good old days when you had fridge-sized multiprocessor servers (anyone remember Pyramid?) with a card cage with - guess what - bare CPU and memory boards? OK, the technology and interconnect is different, but they designed it the way they did for a REASON, guys! :-)

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Heat does not rise

    Hot air rises though.

  19. JingoJones

    That's what i been doing with its other rack designs.

    That's what i /are/ been doing with its other rack designs.


  20. Warhelmet

    Tinfoil Hat

    You'll need metalised server rooms to protect from EMP weapons.

    Building as passive heat sink? hmm.

  21. Dangermouse

    Google is your friend...

    When its not spying on you...

  22. Andy

    it certainly is A hotel,,184838,00.html

    Using "an" in front of an aspirated H is just affectation.


  23. Elmer Phud

    @ Tee Cee

    "but what's a "muffin fan"?"

    Must resist, must not weaken, must not give in to the dark forces.

    Must not use Paris icon.

  24. A J Stiles
    Paris Hilton

    @ RichyS

    No, "hotel" also begins with a H, so it's "a hotel".

  25. Neil Greatorex

    @ Andy - it certainly is A hotel

    It may well be A hotel, however as for using the Grauniad as a styleguide.................


    Friday - w00t.

  26. Andy

    @Neil Greatorex

    This more to your liking?


  27. Neil Greatorex


    Nope, though slightly better than the Grauniad :-)


    Where you will see that it is AN homage. (Note: This was the original challenge) Because homage is French and is pronounced omage, not Huhomage.

    A hotel, an hotel, both are right depending on your pronunciation.

    Who, other than grammar Nazis, gives a stuff really?

  28. Jeffrey Nonken
    Thumb Up


    I think it started as a brand name for a style of fan that got popular. Like "Xerox", it became a generic term. Probably not well known by the general public, though. Try this:

    As for it being a pun, since when was El Reg above using perfectly good terms for such? There's no reason it can't be both. :)

  29. charles paul
    Paris Hilton

    Hotmail ran topless in 2000

    In 2000, a client of mine had a cage between Hotmail and Hotmail's cooling fans. These cooling fans were large industrial HVAC units that blasted 50 degree air at 30 mph or so. Needless to say, we were in the wind-tunnel every time we had to work on our servers.

    Why the tremendous HVAC? Well, the Hotmail engineers had torn all the covers off of their 2U servers to save heat.

    It was a sight back in the day to see thousands of bare motherboards blinking in a cage...

    Paris, Making hot air and staying cool.

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