The Optimal Rackspace “Barreleye” OpenPower Servers
Rackspace is in the process of creating a megaserver, which they are calling “Barreleye”. What so special about this open power computer system? The Rackspace “Barreleye” is intended to have extra compute threads, additional memory bandwidth, more memory size, and additional I/O bandwidth that the customary two socket Xeon server that leads Rackspace’s data centers as well as the majority of data centers all over the world.
This past spring, at the Open Compute and OpenPOWER annual summits, Rackspace offered up [their] vision for a more powerful cloud, and shared [the] “Barreleye” server concept design. (We chose to name it after the barreleye fish because as you can see from the photo above, the fish has a transparent head. Get it? It’s open!)
What makes this system board even better is the superior one located at the back of the Barreleye. It also has 2 CPU sockets and the slots on the I/O board go through it with inert links on the front of the system board. The purpose is to split the memory from the I/O at the boards level from the CPU, Rackspace will have the ability to upgrade each portion individually from the other while also being able to mix and match diverse I/O for altered workloads. The 2 Power8 processors located at the center and the front of the system board, while the voltage regulators are on the left and right outside part of the Barreleye.
Rackspace is retaining IBM’s mercantile silicon variations of their Power8 chips, as well as, two additional variants of the “Tourismo” processor, which is being utilized in the single socket “Habanero” machine that IBM announced 2 weeks ago. IBM uses Power8 SCM in the aforementioned high end SMP system, which has a superlative of 12 cores, and is augmented for high memory capability and bandwidth. In addition, it has the support for 32 PCI-Express 3.0 lanes.
Rackspace will be loading up the Barreleye machine with a dozen 32 PCI-Express 3.0 lanes in the base of the rack, then it will also have 2 switches to link the nodes, 2 power shelves to provide for all of the gear. Plus, it will have another 12 Barreleye servers in addition to all of that. Combined that is a total of 24 TB of memory, 24 servers, and a whooping total of 4,608 threads all in one rack.