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High performance compact blade server a hit in Europe.

Sight Systems : 31 October, 2007  (New Product)
Sight Systems' rack mounted OctoBlade server takes Europe by storm with high performance and compact design ideal for network intensive application like IP megapixel video.
Just six weeks after its official launch, Sight System's unique 8-processing module Blade Server in a 4U 19in Rackmount chassis has found homes in England, France, Spain and potentially the US.

Sight Systems have announced that their innovative OctoBlade Server has surpassed sales expectations since its launch in August. Their clients have quickly identified the benefits of such a compact, quiet and thermally controlled blade server and have begun utilising it for a number of applications.

French designers, developers and producers of engines for civil and military aircraft, launch vehicles and satellites, Snecma, were the first recipients of OctoBlade supplied by HGL Dynamics. Two systems were installed in their jet engine test cells and their performance was immediately apparent.

"There are a number of design features that make the OctoBlade unique," said Craig Blackman, Managing Director of Sight systems "Clearly its compact size and processing power are the main features but we have also designed it in such a way that it remains quiet [typical noise level of less than 60dB (A)] and cool to touch, even if it is left on permanently.
"Each blade also has 4 USB ports, so Snecma can run eight 21in monitors, keyboards and mice from the one unit that fits neatly under a desk. The product is perfect for them and HGL."

OctoBlade has also been procured for a major UK based jet engine manufacturer and Sight Systems are expecting a further order from HGL for a jet engine manufacturer based in Spain.

And now, a US launch is anticipated for OctoBlade. Mr. Blackman believes that it is the product's superb flexibility and unrivalled processing power that is the key to its success.

"The OctoBlade Server contains eight Intel Core2 Duo processors in an unprecedented 500mm deep 4U modular system," explained Mr Blackman. "It's well manufactured at our factory in Worthing, Sussex and I have some high hopes for it in the US."

Sight Systems are currently in negotiation with HGL to pave the way for the US launch of OctoBlade. At the time of writing it is undecided as to whether the product will be manufactured under license in the states or in Worthing and packaged for export.

Mr Blackman is delighted that OctoBlade is being well received.

"At Sight Systems, we generally concentrate on developing bespoke solutions, but I am keep to develop the off-the-shelf side of the business. OctoBlade proves that, with intelligent design, we can develop unique off-the-shelf products that can be used around the world."

The OctoBlade system comprises 8 complete computer systems in the form of plug-in modules, which can be easily removed and upgraded. Each consists of: a Mini ITX compliant motherboard, Intel Core 2 Duo mobile processor, 1GB RAM DDR2 and a single 2.5" 80GB serial ATA hard disk drive. Optional hot swap capabilities can also be added.

The 19in chassis also contains an integrated custom-built distributed power supply at the rear, which offers dual redundancy and a stabilised 15Vdc that is used to power one small integrated DC-DC power supply in each of the 8 modules.

The AC-DC power supply contains two redundant modules that serve to enhance performance speed and ensure continuous operation in the event of a power supply module failure. The system is capable of operating with a wide range of input voltages (85-264V 50/60Hz AC) and its efficient cooling method allows an operating temperature of 40C ambient.

OctoBlade's versatile modular system ensures optimum flexibility, with each module being electrically isolated from the main chassis. This allows modules to be easily removed and upgraded, simply by unscrewing the captive fastener and extracting them. Furthermore, each of the modules is located in grooves machined into the system chassis to ensure accurate alignment every time a module is replaced.

Anticipating the imminent release of second generation Intel Core 2 Duo CPUs, the OctoBlade system has been specifically designed to accommodate future Mini ITX motherboard and processor power requirements so that future models can be fitted to the existing chassis.
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