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Custom Open-Hardware Platforms

Family of servers and storage solutions handle analytics, AI and virtualization.

Equus Compute Solutions makes available its WHITEBOX OPEN family of servers and storage solutions. The company describes the WHITEBOX OPEN (WBO) family as “custom, cost-optimized open-hardware platforms” that enable users to choose the server and storage configurations that exactly meet their needs, while reducing costs and using flexible open systems management. The WHITEBOX OPEN platforms are “ideal” for analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and virtualization as well as large IT enterprises, cloud services providers, content delivery network service providers and value-added resellers, the company adds.

Equus Compute Solutions has announced the availability of its WHITEBOX OPEN family of customizable server platforms. Shown here is the 24-bay D2680 server. Fully configured, this 2U rackmount server can provide about 350TB of hard-disk and solid-state drive storage. Image courtesy of Equus Compute Solutions. Equus Compute Solutions makes available its WHITEBOX OPEN family of customizable server platforms. Shown here is the 24-bay D2680 server. Fully configured, this 2U rackmount server can provide about 350TB of hard-disk and solid-state drive storage. Image courtesy of Equus Compute Solutions.

Equus reports that the WBO attributes enabling the open-hardware capabilities of these servers include:

  1. OpenBMC, which is the open-source implementation of the Baseboard Management Controller (BMC) firmware stack that works across heterogeneous systems. This property, explains Equus, “can free companies from proprietary system management vendor lock-in.”
  2. WBO servers support LinuxBoot. This capability enables IT personnel to customize the server BIOS to create unique features as well as to improve security and to provide a fast boot experience.
  3. WBO servers incorporate Open Compute Project (OCP) inspired hardware features such as OCP slots that accommodate multi-vendor network cards including 1, 10, 40, 50 and 100 Gbps Ethernet NICs (network interface controllers). The internal OCP storage slots also support NVMe (non-volatile memory host controller) and SSD (solid-state drive) interfaces for user applications requiring higher storage performance.
  4. Utilizing OCP networking enables WBO servers to use NC-SI (network controller sideband interface) in-band network management communication, removing the need for a separate 1GbE (one gigabit Ethernet frame per second) management port and the associated dedicated network. This characteristic can generate cost savings, free rack space and reduce the complexity of rack cabling.
The four-bay R1560 WHITEBOX OPEN server platform features dual Intel Xeon Scalable CPUs and can support up to 2TB of memory. Image courtesy of Equus Compute Solutions. The four-bay R1560 WHITEBOX OPEN server platform features dual Intel Xeon Scalable CPUs and can support up to 2TB of memory. Image courtesy of Equus Compute Solutions.Initially, Equus offers nine WBO platforms, all of which use dual Intel Xeon Scalable CPUs. Each WBO server platform can be customized to exact end-user specifications, according to the company. GPU-based versions of WBO servers will be available soon, the company adds.

WBO platform models range from the R1560 1U four-bay server to the 2U four-bay M2660 server and to the 24-bay D2760. The latter is a 2U platform with optional four rear 2.5-in. hot-swap bays and four 2.5-in. internal bays.

Also available is the D2680 server. It comes standard with two dozen 3.5-in. hard drives and can be fitted with four additional 3.5-in. hot-swappable drives in the rear with four additional internal SSD drives. Fully configured, the D2680 can provide approximately 350TB of storage in a 2U rackmount server.

The 2U four-node 24-bay M2760 WHITEBOX OPEN platform can be equipped with two dozen 2.5-in. hot-swappable hard drives. Image courtesy of Equus Compute Solutions. The 2U four-node 24-bay M2760 WHITEBOX OPEN platform can be equipped with two dozen 2.5-in. hot-swappable hard drives. Image courtesy of Equus Compute Solutions.

“Our customers have been asking for cost-optimized open-hardware platforms as the foundation of their software-defined infrastructures,” said Costa Hasapopoulos, president of Equus Compute Solutions, in the press announcement. “WHITEBOX OPEN servers are the ideal high-performance solution for demanding applications such as content delivery, cloud services, software defined storage, virtualization, and analytics/AI. At the same time, these innovative platforms provide benefits of scale and volume, component standardization, ease of service logistics, and the means to avoid vendor lock-in.”

For more information about the WHITEBOX OPEN family of server platforms, visit Equus Compute Solutions.

Watch a video on WHITEBOX OPEN servers.

Download the white paper “Break Vendor Lock-In Using White Box Management.”

See why DE's Editors selected WHITEBOX OPEN family of server platforms as their Pick of the Week.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company's website.

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About the Author

Anthony J. Lockwood's avatar
Anthony J. Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood is Digital Engineering’s founding editor. He is now retired. Contact him via [email protected].

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