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The E2 cluster's design allows up to 50 nodes, or servers, to be placed in a standard 42U rack, a density improvement over the standard-size 1U (approximately 1.7 inch) nodes, according to Linux NetworX spokesman Brad Rutledge.
Linux NetworX engineers broke with traditional horizontal design when the Evolocity cluster came out in 2000 by placing the nodes into the rack vertically. The vertical design naturally allows more airflow and improved heat dissipation within each node.
The E2 design remains vertical but doubles the density of the previous design, allowing five rows of 10 nodes in a standard 42U rack.
Using its own measuring method for vertically positioned servers, Linux NetworX rated the E2 cluster at 0.8U, meaning it achieves a 20% density advantage over 1U horizontally stacked servers.
The cluster is also more reliable because it generates less heat, uses high-speed interconnections and can hold up to 100 Intel Xeon 2.4Ghz processors.
The number of processors that can be fitted into a cabinet is important but taken by itself is not a compelling reason to buy, according to Illuminata analyst Gordon Haff.
"The real battleground for these types of installations is going to be fought more in the integration and the management and provisioning software area than strictly on physical parameters," he said.
The Linux NetworX announcement comes two days after rival Silicon Graphics announced an addition to its Origin line of supercomputers.