Most “server” deployments deserve a rich, robust server platform with redundant power, redundant cooling, redundant storage, multiple network paths and error-correcting memory, but many servers already have redundant applications and redundant data. In some of these deployments it then becomes reasonable to consider a small, cool, low-power alternative approach with redundant storage and two network interfaces for redundant communications. ion calls that a miniSERVER.
Another application is flexible, scalable private cloud environments where every node could be a small, inexpensive, consumer-off-the-shelf (COTS) miniSERVER. Each node has (2) NVMe SSDs of up to 2TB each. Whether it is a few nodes for a test bed or hundreds of nodes on rack shelves, the cool, quiet and inexpensive miniSERVER offers an approach worth considering.
ion‘s miniSERVER is based on the Intel® NUC8 miniPC. The miniSERVER includes an 8th generation Intel® Core™ processor with dual 1GbE NICs, a 65 Watt power supply, and up to 32GB RAM. With a pair of internal M.2 Intel SSDs, the miniSERVER features solid state storage of up to two 2TB SSDs, which may be mirrored or not, depending on the usage model. When those SSDs are matched with the 8th generation Intel Core i7-8705G processors delivering 4 cores at 3.1GHz, 4.1GHz Turbo, and 2400MHz DDR4 RAM, performance is not an issue.
ion Computer Systems® suggests a spare parts kit with an extra NUC8 miniPC including its power supply module, an extra DIMM and an extra SSD. That is everything! The miniSERVER can be serviced in minutes, moving DIMMs and SSDs to a replacement NUC8 system or replacing a DIMM or SSD in the existing system. Or, a failed system just gets sent back to ion for repairs or replacement and a spare system gets swapped in for it. Either way, spare systems or spare components, they are inexpensive commodity items.