Supermicro’s been holding the AS-2021TM 4-node-in-2U platform back for several weeks but finally it’s out from behind proprietary OEM’s. We’re talking about the Supermicro 2021TM-B “mini cluster” of course and we’ve been watching this platform for some time.
Why is this a great platform for right now? The H8DMT-F motherboard, supporting only 64GB of DDR2/800 memory, also supports HT3.0 links to enable the slightly higher HT bandwidth of the upcoming Istanbul 6-core processors. The on-board IPMI 2.0 management (WPCM450, supporting KVM/IP and serial-over-LAN) with dedicated LAN port and two inboard USB ports (supporting boot flash) make this an ideal platform for “cloud computing” operations with high-density needs and limited budgets.
The inclusion of the on-board Intel Zoar (82575) dual-port Gigabit Ethernet controller means VMDq support for 4 recieve queues per port using the “igb driver” as we’ve reported in a previous post on “cheap” IOV. An nVidia MCP55-Pro provides Southbridge functions for 6xUSB 2.0, 4x SATA and 1xPCI-express x16 (low-profile) slot. This is a VMware “vSphere ready” configuration.
Each motherboard is installed on a removable try allowing for hot-swapping of motherboard trays (similar to blade architectures). The available x16 PCI-express slot allows for a single, dual-port 10GE card to drive higher network densities per node. An optional 20Gbps Mellanox Infiniband controller (MT25408A0-FCC-DI) is available on-board (PCI-express x8 connected) for HPC applications.
Each node is connected to a bank of 3-SATA hot-swap drive bays supporting RAID 0, 1 or 5 modes of operation (MCP55 Pro NVRAID). This makes the 2021TM a good choice for dense Terminal Services applications, HPC cluster nodes or VMware ESX/ESXi service nodes.
- Redundant power supply with Gold Level 93% efficiency rating
- up to 64GB DDR2/800 per node (256GB/2U) – Istanbul’s sweet-spot is 32-48GB
- HT3.0 for best Socket-F I/O and memory performance
- Modern i82575 1Gbps (dual-port) with IOV
- Inboard USB flash for boot-from-flash (ESXi)
- Low-profile PCI-express x16 (support for dual-port 1oGE & CNA’s)
- Hot-swap motherboard trays for easy maintenance
- Full KVM/IP with Media/IP per node (dedicated LAN port)
- Available with on-board Mellanox Infiniband (AS-2021TM-BiBTRF) or without (AS-2021TM-BTRF)