back to article Supermicro's macro Microblade: That chassis is... huge

Supermicro has a neat new product it calls "Microblades". Supermicro has made blade servers for some time, and Microblades are blade servers, but smaller. Supermicro sent a chassis and a pair of blades over for review. Each vendor has its own approach to server management, be that blade management or baseband management …

  1. phuzz Silver badge

    I sympathise with your cat. We have a couple of HP blade enclosures here, and one of them sits at just under a critical temperature most of the time.

    This means, sometimes I'm in the server room, working on something else, when suddenly all the fans go full pelt without warning as a temperature sensor notches up one degree over its threshold.

    Not only is it a big surprise, it's almost deafening.

  2. highdiver_2000


    What are the power options? If it exceeds the 16/32A C form, you will get a very unhappy datacenter manager

  3. rob_leady

    What racks are you using ?!

    "At 265mm x 449mm x 875mm (10.43" x 17.67" x 34.45"), it may be the single largest thing you can put onto a rack, and it probably isn't going to fit onto most racks."

    That looks pretty small in comparison to other blade chassis...

    1. Chz

      Re: What racks are you using ?!

      It is rather deep, compared to some of the others. That would leave you 1.5" at the back of a standard rack, so you'd best be pretty good with your cabling.

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: What racks are you using ?!

      It's about 2-3cm deeper than an HP c3000, which is already plenty big.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Dense packing like that gives a huge cooling problem; did anyone consider using oil cooling instead of having fan tips running at trans-sonic speeds.

    1. Paul_Murphy

      Re: Cooling

      I can't see fluid cooling happening on blades, but a chiller unit that clamped to the front might be worth a punt.

      I'm still waiting for water cooling for servers to be the norm.

    2. HPCJohn

      Re: Cooling

      There are several cooling options for HPC kit like this.

      Water cooled rear doors, where chilled water is circulated through chiller units at the rear of the cabinet and removes heat.

      Trox in the UK have a similar unit which uses liquid carbon dioxide.

      Direct liquid cooling - where cold plates are used instead of the traditional finned heatsinks.

      And look at the innovative British company Iceotope

    3. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Cooling

      There are no fans on the blades.

      They have twin 5 inch units in the power supplies which draw air through from the front of the chassis and are surprisingly quiet unless things are getting _really_ hot (modulo the Supermicro habit of starting at full yakka when powered up to overcome any possible sticktion issues)

      Noise levels in a server room is a particular annoyance of mine. Even with the room AC set to 24C, it's quite possible to keep room noise down below 75dBA if you don't set every fan to "warp speed" (recent experience: we dropped the room noise from 95-97dBA to that level) and with appropriate room treatment ( you can get it even lower.

      Note that using blanking panels is _not_ optional if you want to maintain temperature control of the room and the heavier ones like APC's plastic 1U clip ins have a _very_ noticeable effect on controlling room noise levels too.

  5. Reg Whitepaper

    Baseband management controller

    Shurely shome mishtake?

    Baseboard Management Controller.

  6. Meep

    Hide the ear plugs...

    I use to run about 140 blades and when management use to plan to come up and have a nose round I would log into the management modules and turn all the fans up to full and hide the ear plugs... was a very good way of keeping them out of my hair... :-)

  7. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Forklift upgrades

    You might have been joking, but lifters are something that's worth considering even in a small DC. It only takes one H&S claim from someone having hurt themselves putting rack kit into place to pay for one.

    TAWI and Serverlift both make highly usable units.

    Perhaps it's time El Reg did an article on them.

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