Mobile Server to the Rescue

AEGSI turned to mobile server for managing storage, network and server operations.

The Eurocom Panther 5SE Mobile Server is a 12 lb., all-in-one system. Image courtesy of Eurocom.

Eurocom Panthe 5SE The Eurocom Panther 5SE Mobile Server is a 12 lb., all-in-one system. Image courtesy of Eurocom.

Gregory Carter owns and operates Applied Engineering Software Group (AESGI) in Green Bay, WI. The firm manages storage, network and server operations for third-party contractors for a variety of companies, primarily in the Internet service provider (ISP), telecommunications and logistics and supply industries. Secondarily, AESGI deals with enterprise operations, analytic measurement and problem resolution in the same areas. A lot of Carter’s time is spent tracking down problems and redesigning issues of data center operations or cloud computing operations that are not working optimally.

“Sometimes a customer will become frustrated because of a vendor deadlock to resolve the problems, so they hire me to come in and look at a problem as a neutral party,” Carter explains. “I then redesign the software, add software or debug the software to identify the problem so that the vendor, customer or I can fix/resolve it. The typical projects for my company tend to be fairly diverse, both large and small in the types of server, storage and networking and or software problems I have to deal with.”

Carter was initially attracted to the Eurocom Panther 5SE because of its ability to handle a server class Intel Xeon processor. AESGI is sometimes running anywhere from 50 to 100 virtual machines, and requires the ability to model complex network problems.

The Eurocom Panther 5SE Mobile Server is an all-in-one system that results in a 12-lb., 16.76 x 11.44 x 2.31-in. mobile server solution. Eurocom Mobile Servers support a variety of server class operating systems such as Windows 2012, 2008 R2, VMware ESXi, Enterprise Server Edition 6.4 and Linux. The Panther 5SE allows for network virtualization, multi-tenancy and storage resource pooling.

AESGI Deployment

Before the Panther 5SE Mobile Server, Carter used to haul around a desktop class system in excess of 80 lbs. to and from customer sites. The problems didn’t end there, though — sometimes simply plugging in the desktop machine would pull 600 watts and trip an uninterruptible power supply (UPS).

“When I saw an X79 class chipset in a laptop that could run a Xeon class server processor, I decided to have a look at the Panther 5SE,” Carter says. “I found the machine could run all of the tool sets I use, just as well as the desktop server machine I would haul around.”

Eurocom Panther 5SE Mobile Server Up to 12 cores of Intel Xeon processing power and an Intel X79 Express chipset is available in the 5SE. Image courtesy of Eurocom.

Carter notes that the Panther 5SE “nibbles around 130 watts of power at max load — 300 watts with both bricks if I install a top end Xeon, and load the drive bays.” With that much power in such a compact form factor, he adds, “solutions for customers’ problems and my own problems of dealing with business continuity can be demonstrated on-site, not just on a whiteboard.”

Carter uses the Panther 5SE as his primary machine. He works on software development using Eclipse to write Android/mobile software. He also does audits on the configuration and builds of some of the YUM automation repos he has for many of his LINUX / HPUX / Solaris / BSD / Windows physical / virtual machines. The configured build of his Panther 5SE uses an AMD display card and “runs the KDE desktop very nicely,” he says. “I also use it for email/Web browsing — nothing like using a server-class machine to get your weather and email!

“The bonus of course,” Carter concludes, “is that all the gear was reduced in weight to about 15 lbs. Hefty for sure for a laptop, but not quite 80 lbs. Furthermore, it can fit on my lap in a pinch.”

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