Supermicro gets into 10GigE switches

IDF 2010: Tukwila, Sandy and more

Supermicro logoTHREE THINGS OF note were on display at Supermicro’s IDF booth, a switch, a server and an Itanic box. Of the three, the switch line is by far the most important.

Before we get too far into things, the Supermicro rack line we told you about earlier is finally available, you can see the details here. The whole system gets horribly complex in short order, gotta love those combinatorial explosions. There is no truth to the rumor that Supermicro will give the first five people who purchase one of each combination a free t-shirt. (Editors note: You only get a hat.)

Getting back to the important things, there are two new 10GigE switches from Supermicro on the horizon, a blade and a pizza box. The blade form factor is called the SuperBlade Switch, and the standalone is called, wait for it, the Standalone Switch. Neither is pictured below.

Not a SM 10GE switch

Not a Supermicro 10GE switch, but close

The standalone box has 24 10GE ports, the blade supports 10. Both are non-blocking, full duplex, and route layer 3 traffic. The blade is sampling now, and the pizza box will be coming in a few weeks. Both use Broadcomm silicon, and the pizza box will cost less than $300 a port, likely far less.

Next we have the Superserver 1026T-6RFT+, a 1U server designed on the principle of, “it has everything”. It is a 1U server with redundant power, dual Xeon 5500/5600 sockets, 18 DIMM slots, LSI SAS 2.0 hardware, dual 10GE ports, full IPMI management, and 3 PCIe slots. All that plus more in 1U. Not bad.

Supermicro sandy bridge

Supermicro does Sandy Bridge too

Moving on to Gesher, sorry, Sandy Bridge, we have the X9SCL. This board, a fairly basic Sandy implementation, is notable for one thing, it really shows the integration in a modern CPU. Notice how much there isn’t on the board, almost all passive components and a dinky little chipset dwarfed by the battery. Also note how the PCIe lanes are routed from the CPU, it shows that bit off well.

Lastly we have the big iron of the server world, Itanic in all it’s glory. Yes, Tukwilla is ready for action, mere years after it was first shown running. If you thought people didn’t care about Itanic any more, you are dead wrong, they never really cared in the first place.

Supermicro Tukwila

Sexy and sleek, like the chip’s gestation

This box, the Supermicro ItsIrrelevantTheyWontSellAnyway has the distinction of being by far the heaviest box on the show floor for it’s size. It not only looks like it was built by industrial kitchen designers, it’s internals are all aluminum and look like they could be stood upon without damage. This one is really overbuilt.

Supermicro Tukwila rear

Approach from the rear

The one unique thing about the ItsIrrelevantTheyWontSellAnyway is the rear, all of the usual rack server ports and bays are on the back, along with the triple redundant PSUs. This is a high availability box, and both Itanic customers demanded that while they still cared. The designer of the box absolutely denied that the ports were on the rear so IT workers could approach the machine without being seen and shortly thereafter mocked by their peers. We at SemiAccurate have our doubts though.S|A

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also available through Guidepoint and Mosaic. FullyAccurate