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Broadberry CyberServe X34-Q104 review

Broadberry’s latest CyberServe X34-Q104 is the first product to combine four independent servers in a 1U chassis. This is an impressive feat, but are there compromises in the search for ever greater compute node density? Read this review to find out.

Price
£2,385

Data centres are often short on space which forces server manufactures to be ever more innovative in the quest for higher compute node densities. With the CyberServe X34-Q104 Broadberry has managed the remarkable feat of squeezing four independent servers into a low profile 1U rack chassis.

The X34-Q104 is based on Intel's latest Server System SR1640TH platform, provocatively codenamed Thunder Hill. The system shows some lateral thinking by Intel as up until now its rack server products have been functional, but basic and uninspiring in the design department.

IT PRO Innovation Award

The four server nodes consist of two separate motherboards each fitted in independently powered trays. Each motherboard has two processor sockets each filled with a 2.4GHz Xeon 3430 processor. There are thus four processors in total, with each one designed to appear as a completely separate server.

The chassis itself functions purely as a shell for the two trays. The only components inside it are two 450W cold-swap power supplies which the trays mate with when inserted from the front.

Tray design is impressively tidy as all components are neatly laid out down the length of the tray with hardly a wire or cable out of place to mar their perfect symmetry. The front part of the tray is used to house two hard disks and even here Intel has reduced cabling requirements by placing the SATA and power interfaces up at the front.

Broadberry offers a good choice of storage options and supplied the left hand tray with a pair of 500GB Seagate Barracuda SATA drives and the right hand tray with two 80GB Intel SSDs. The price for the review system includes all of these drives although Broadberry advised us it could supply the system with four 80GB SSDs for 2,550 or four 500GB SATA drives for 2,180.

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