High performance server blade for military networked systems

Posted By : Alice Matthews
High performance server blade for military networked systems

A powerful new packet processing and high performance server blade has been launched by Artesyn Embedded Technologies, the ATCA-7540, based on dual Intel Xeon Scalable processors (codename Skylake), which were recently announced. The ATCA-7540 provides a migration path and future-proof platform for defense applications in air/shipborne data centres, ground control stations, network data analytics, ad-hoc mobile networks and other C4ISR tasks.

The selected processor family combined with Artesyn’s engineering and supply chain expertise provides a performance and longevity-of-supply improvement over existing server blades. Artesyn expects its selected processors to have a 15-year life cycle.

Designed for compute-intensive tasks such as deep packet inspection (DPI), firewalls, intrusion prevention and data encryption/decryption, the ATCA-7540 server blade targets high performance network requirements in commercial, government and defense communications networks.

Built around commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) technologies, the AdvancedTCA (ATCA) bladed architecture follows the US Department of Defense (DoD) modular open systems approach (MOSA). With scalable performance, ease of maintenance, reduced cabling and multivendor interoperability, Artesyn’s ATCA technology has been selected for multiple applications in military deployments. Several DoD branches, prime contractors and system integrators have adopted the ATCA architecture for a range of centralised compute systems on board ships, aircraft or in transit cases for command and control tents.

Software
The CentOS operating system will be available for the Artesyn ATCA-7540 and the blade is designed to support other open source and commercial operating systems thanks to pre-installed BIOS, IPMC firmware and Artesyn’s Basic Blade Services (BBS) software.

The blade will also support RedHawk Linux RTOS, an industry-standard real-time operating system selected by the US Navy as its open architecture operating system for a long list of programmes.

The ATCA-7540 can be configured for virtualisation using Linux KVM or VMware ESXi, and is designed to operate with the Intel Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK).

Technical details

  • The blade design has been optimised for unmatched computational performance, featuring two new Intel Xeon Gold or Intel Xeon Silver processors, allowing for scalable performance.
  • Data paths to main memory and I/O are highly optimised by the use of six memory channels per processor which support DDR4 memory.
  • Fast network performance, which optimises 48 high speed PCIe Gen 3 lanes per processor.
  • Memory capacity can scale up to 384GB using 12 VLP DIMM sockets, allowing for cost optimised configurations as well as for applications with demanding memory requirements as needed in routing decisions or pattern matching.
  • The blade can be combined with optional hardware accelerators directly connected to the CPUs. The accelerators are optimised for assisting encryption/decryption algorithms and can greatly enhance throughput of encrypted data in security applications.
  • A dual-star 40G Ethernet fabric interface enables high-speed data transfer.
  • The blade supports up to two on-board M.2 non-volatile sold state memory disks (up to 1TB total capacity).
  • Artesyn offers a wide range of compatible rear transition modules (RTMs) to expand I/O and storage options to meet customer application needs.

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