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At the IDF, Supermicro has been showing off a new server they are introducing to the market. Dubbed OfficeBlade, the system is designed to be green with high energy efficiency and low total energy demands. With claims of PSUs achieving as high 93% efficiency, they say an array of 10 these systems sporting quad-core Xeons would consume a mere 1500W.
What's just as interesting as the low power draw, however, is the noise output. It is also designed to be quiet - very quiet - at less than 50dB for a full system. What's the advantage here? An obvious question to ask, and if this was placed into any classic datacenter I might wonder why they'd bother sinking more cash into making a system silent. After all, you expect a server rack to be loud.
What about, however, a start-up company? One that might not yet have a datacenter and has to make due with a storage closet? Or how about a small business that needs several high power servers, but can't justify the investment in offsite hosting? Both of those are instances in which having a server that doesn't deafen nearby employees could have a huge advantage over servers with 8000RPM cooling fans. It's a good idea - and even if they are only filling a niche market, it's a good one.