Rackmount > Chassis > ATXBlade > ATXBlade Cluster Server Chassis FAQ

ATXBlade Cluster Server Chassis FAQ

What is the advantage of open architecture?

With open architecture, your investment will be protected in which you will not be locked-in on a specific company's proprietary technology. When you purchase proprietary technology, you are at the whim and control of the vendor that sold you the proprietary system. Open architecture also allows you to instantly upgrade to the newest technology since the ATX motherboard is a standard form factor that the majority of computers use. Since the ATX motherboard is a mainstream product, the technological upgrade cost is covered by the motherboard manufacturer. There is no modification required to adapt this technology since the ATXBlade accepts ATX motherboards right off the shelf. Since there is a large amount of competition in the ATX motherboard market, the market price of the motherboard is controlled by the competition. Mainsteam motherboards are commodity items that can be purchased from many vendors whereas proprietary technology can only be purchased from the original vendor. There is no guarantee that the proprietary vendor will not go out of business or decide they no longer wish to support their products. Last but not least, the ATX form factor allows compatibility with other accessories such as hard drives and PCI cards. Compatibility with existing technology will provide much more options and solutions than any proprietary vendor's R&D department.

Is there free software for clustering?

Yes, there are many different forms of clustering software out there. We have tested OpenMosix and we recommend it as a starting point.

Is the ATXBlade good for clustering?

The ATXBlade was designed to be used in a clustering or dedicated web hosting environment. The unique layout is much more space efficient than 1U servers and yet the ATXBlade maintains the ATX form factor to keep the technology non-proprietary. The new layout also provides better cooling from the vertical configuration and concentrated powerful six 120mm fans made possible by the space gains. The efficient layout also provides faster access for maintenance and is simple enough that special training is not required. With a wide choice of free clustering software, there are several choices available for managing the cluster over the network. Last but not least, the ATXBlade features non-priorietary technology and the benefits are highlighted above in "What is the advantage of open architecture?"

How much airflow does the six 120mm fans generate?

Seeing is believing. Please click here for the video.


I do not have a full set of blades, do I need to cover the empty spaces?

Although not required for low-speed processors (anything under 2.0 GHz speed), we recommend covering the empty spaces with part number (ATXBladeS101-Cover1) to preserve proper airflow through the individual blades. The covers also prevent excess dust and other foreign objects from being pulled into the vacuum that the powerful 120 mm fans create.

Where do you put the CD-ROM?

The ATXBlade was designed to be used primarily in a clustering or dedicated server environment and the use of a CDROM would be infrequent. Software would initially be loaded onto the blade by cloning hard drives or by attaching a IDE/USB CDROM directly to the motherboard. The IDE port of the blade can be accessed simply by sliding the blade halfway out. USB CDROMs can be plugged directly into the USB port on the I/O section of the motherboard without sliding the blade out. Another option would be to use a network connection or network CDROM to transfer the data. ATXBlade S900 supports one 24X slim style cdrom for software installation.

What type of motherboard fits on the ATXBlade?

Please read the "Basic 1U System Installation Tutorial" to learn about basic 1U systems and ATX motherboard selection. Afterwards please read the "Blade Chassis Quick Basic Installation Tutorial" to bring you up to speed with ATXBlade layout. For advanced users, the use general rule of thumb "If the motherboard fits in a 1U server, it will most likely fit in the ATXBlade."

How do I order the housing and individual blades separately?

The housing and individual blades can be ordered with the part numbers ATXBladeS101-Housing and ATXBladeS101-Blade on the ATXBlade page.


What is the difference between the ATXBlade S101 and ATXBlade S100?

The S101 version is the replacement for S100 with minor tweaks that improve convenience. The S101, as with all ATXBlade models, is backwards compatible with all older versions.

What is the ATXBlade S800?

The ATXBlade S800 is an extended long ATXBlade model that is currently in development. The S800 will be able to suppose all ATX and EATX motherboards. However, the chassis will be longer and will only support 8 blades in 8U space as opposed to the S101's 10 blades in 8U space.

How do you fit 50 blades in one 42U rack?



Does each blade include their own power supply?

Yes, each individual blade has its own power supply. The housing also has an individual power supply for cooling.

Can the ATXBlade support Dual Xeon / Dual Opteron?

Yes, the ATXBlade supports all Dual Xeon Intel processors (including dual-core) and AMD Dual Opteron processors. Currently the ATXBlade S101, S800and S900 supports up to 400 Watts per blade. Our upcoming model, ATXBlade 1000, will address this issue with bigger power supplies in the near future.

Does the ATXBlade support 230V?

Yes, all of the power supplies on the ATXBlade have voltage autoswitching between 100V to 240V AC.

Can the ATXBlade be operated without I/O shields?

The ATXBlade will operate normally without I/O shields. The airflow may actually improve due to the decrease in airflow resistance.

Is the ATXBlade CE certified?

All of the electronic components within the ATXBlade are CE certified. This includes the power supplies and fans.

Is there an Europe distributor for the ATXBlade?

We are currently in the process of establishing a distribution channel in Europe. Please call if you are also interested in becoming a distributor of Rackmount.com products.

Questions? E-mail: sales@rackmount.com

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