Boston Quattro 2296-T review

Boston's Quattro multi-node rack server sets a new record for processing density as its 2U chassis packs in 96 Opteron cores. Read this exclusive review to find out whether blade servers have finally met their match.

Price
£16,559

Blade servers have traditionally provided the best processing density for rack cabinets but the latest Quattro 2296-T from Boston is an unusual alternative that turns this notion on its head. This rack server has no less than 96 cores in its 2U chassis which equates to an incredible 2,016 cores in an industry standard 42U rack cabinet which, we believe, is a new record.

IT PRO Innovation Award

From the front the Quattro looks like a standard storage server with its twelve hot-swap 3.5in disk bays. However, the chassis' backplane has been designed to provide each server node with three dedicated bays arranged vertically into separate groups.

The price for the review system includes eight 1TB WD SATA hard disks spread equally across the nodes. The rack brackets on the sides of each drive bay incorporate illuminated power buttons for each node. These are accompanied by UID LEDs for visual identification plus network and temperature warning lights.

A glance at the rear of the chassis confirms that each server node is, indeed, totally independent and has its own monitor, network, serial and USB ports. The nodes are removed by releasing small locking tabs and pulling the unit out using the grab rings on each side.

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The motherboards are well designed with the processor sockets staggered down their length to avoid impeding the air flow. The Opteron processors are mounted with sturdy passive heatsinks and each socket is accompanied by eight DIMM slots.

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