Monthly Archives: February 2015

  • 1U Plus grandMA

    Our new 1U server now shipping! 

    Updated 20/02/2015

    Back in December we announced that our new 1U rack server was available for orders. We’re pleased to announce that the “1U Plus” is now officially shipping and you can find it here.

    To recap, this is our first step into Servers having established a strong heritage in Mini PC and Rack PC products over the last decade.  The 1U Plus is a feature-rich product that delivers great value.  Built from the ground up, we’ve focussed on some of the challenges we believe will be commonplace for our users and tackled them with intelligent design, flexible options and lots of scope for expandability.

    Processor options vary from basic 1150 socket i5 to range topping 2011-3 socket i7 and Xeons.  However, the big differentiator is the 2 x PCI-express 16 slots which offer the capability to fit two PCIe x16 cards or a dual width graphics card.

    The server range comes in three options:

    Workstation – our entry level product, is perfect for everyday workloads and reliability

    Industrial – for those with more demanding requirements and need for greater redundancy

    Performance – a do-anything server for the most aggressive demands

    All are built on a similar technical blueprint as follows however:

    • New X99 Chipset for 6 & 8 Core CPU support
    • Dual PCI express x16 slots for two PCIe cards or Dual Width GFX Cards
    • Two Front USB 3.0 Ports
    • Up to 8x Hot Swap 2.5” HDD and Solid State Drive as standard
    • M.2 Ultra-fast Solid State drive option
    • Sliding Rail Kit option

    Detail on our Server family will shortly appear in the products section of our website.  In the meantime, for more information contact us.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Products

  • G2 appliance helps Green Hippo win yet another award! 

    Updated 19/02/2015

    Well done to Green Hippo for scooping yet another design award at the ISE 2015 with their latest magpi solo product. The win marks the ongoing success of their Aviary Video Tools range.

    As a longstanding partner to Green Hippo we have helped them develop various products in their range including the magpi solo, which is built on our latest NUC product.

    While developing our 1U NUC product Green Hippo approached us to discuss the magpi solo for use in their installation market. We could see that our NUC product would be the perfect foundation to build from thanks to features well suited for AV environments, including high resolution video support and multiple audio outputs.  Housed in an ultra-small chassis, with options to rack-mount up to three units in 1U, the NUC offers superb flexibility for the typical AV environment.

    NUC provides a great platform for innovation because of its size and feature-rich design.  The latest Broadwell 5th generation products have now been released and we are currently innovating around the platform to deliver further enhanced features.

    To learn more about our bespoke solutions or to discover more about our NUC products click here.  Alternatively, for more information on Green Hippo’s award win, and the magpi solo product click here.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News

  • 5th generation NUC packs even bigger punch! 

    Updated 17/02/2015

    When Intel released the NUC it was a revolution in ultra-compact PC design.  Likewise, we broke new ground when we were the first company in the world to rack-mount the NUC and enable up to three units to co-exist together in a 1U rack space.

    Intel has now launched the 5th generation Broadwell NUC, which packs even more new features into a familiar ultra-small design.  As such we will be continuing to innovate around the NUC5i5MYHE / NUC5i5MYBE (vPro) and NUC5i3MYHE / NUC5i3MYBE products, taking advantage of the new features.  Support now includes:

    • Intel 5th generation Core i3 and i5 processors
    • Intel HD graphics – 4K resolution and support for up to three monitors
    • Multiple peripheral connectivity including front and back USB ports
    • Internal M.2 SSD plus an additional M.2 slot for WiFI and Bluetooth
    • vPro options to remote manage intelligent computing solutions (NUC5i5MYHE / NUC5i5MYBE)

    The NUC has been successfully deployed in a host of innovative computing environments including digital signage, vending, point-of-sale and content creation, where it’s size versus performance advantages really shine through.

    Helpfully, Intel has committed to 3 year development and production cycles for this new generation of NUC, which gives added peace of mind for those looking to integrate the platform into wider computing solutions.

    We are well underway with developments in our own product line-up to continue offering rack-mount options for the new NUC.  Watch our blog feed for news or for more information please contact us.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Technical Articles

  • What’s next for SSD and how will it be used?

    Updated 02/02/2015

    In one of our blog posts last month we talked about the gap closing between the cost of SSD and traditional spinning disk.  Only a modest increment in cost delivers comparable capacity, but with vastly greater performance advantages.  And with SSD capacities growing all of the time, the fate of traditional disk looks set.

    The world of SSD is moving as fast as the memory itself. Firstly, there’s different approaches to achieving greater capacities.  Whilst the prevailing trend has been to make di sizes smaller, the likes of Samsung and Intel have decided to buck the trend, going back several di sizes to 40nm (still small, but not as small) with a plan to stack memory.  So, instead of a single layer di, they can stack in multiple layers and achieve advancements in density and therefore capacity this way. This is a move to deliver better economies – using a larger di size they can manufacture their SSD’s much cheaper, but still achieve the same (or possibly better) capacity advancements.

    Where does this leave RAID? Current NAS/SAN arrays are built of multiple spinning drives but if the same capacity could be achieved in a smaller foot print surely the future of the hot swap SATA/SAS interface is limited.

    Then consider the new performance advantages of Ultra M.2 with it’s 10Gb/s interface and you have a new storage media even for large data centres.

    Of course, SSD is effecting data storage, but what else is it impacting?  The really interesting result of SSD (in whichever variant), is the real estate it frees up in the device itself.  With no cumbersome spinning disk gobbling up device real-estate (and power), devices can shrink in size, or have space liberated to incorporate new features, or achieve better performance from other components.

    Likewise, power demands drop dramatically as SSD’s require only limited power to operate, which is good for the pocket and the environment.

    Importantly, SSD’s contain no moving parts so are perfect for use in environments where devices need to be rugged or vibration is likely to be high.  Take a look at the solution we implemented for Landrover which incorporated SSD technology as a key component.

    Lastly, SSD’s omit no audible noise.  This makes them well-suited for noise-sensitive environments – in fact we’ve put this to the test in devices which we have deployed in environments ranging from restaurants to sound studios.

    We’re excited about the opportunities presented by SSD technology.  We are able to incorporate it across all of our products and it is becoming an increasingly vital ingredient in the bespoke solutions we build for our customers.

    If you’d like to know more about the inclusion of SSD in our products or believe the technology could lend itself to a challenge you face, please get in touch to talk further.

    Posted by: Geoff Undrell
    Posted in: News, Technical Articles