Azul Targets Mid-Tier With 100-Processor Platform

The Azul platform costs $60,000 and is designed for network-attached processing, which the company says is ideal for enterprises that are increasingly implementing virtualized networks.

November 7, 2005

2 Min Read
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Azul Systems Inc. says it's ready to take its megacore processor server system to the masses with the introduction on Monday of a new 100-core platform priced at $59,000.

"We are moving to the next level by taking our value proposition to the mid-tier enterprise customer," says Stephen DeWitt, chief executive of Azul. "Being able to deliver this amount of processing power this elegantly to this class of customer is really unprecedented in the industry."

The Azul CentiCore platform comes configured with the Azul 960 Compute Appliance containing 96 processor cores, two Penguin Computing two-core processor Linux servers and Gigabit Ethernet switch, and JBoss application sever software. The Azul server has 32 Gbytes of shared memory, and the Penguin servers have a gigabyte of memory.

The 960 Compute Appliance integrates four Vega processors, a RISC-based architecture developed by Azul. Each Vega processor has 24 processing cores operating at about 700 MHz. The Penguin systems use four 3.1-GHz Xeon processors.

The CentiCore platform occupies an 8U rack space and consumes 1.75 kilowatts of power. The Azul platform is designed for what the company calls network-attached processing, which DeWitt says is ideal for enterprises that are increasingly implementing virtualized networks."Our network-attached processing architecture is designed from the ground up for virtual machine execution," he says. "And when you look at this price, and its performance-per-watt metric versus traditional general-purpose computing economics, this shatters the existing benchmark price line in the industry."

Azul introduced its first servers, which integrate up to 384 processing cores, earlier this year and currently has "dozens" of customers, according to DeWitt.

"The model that exists for computing today has to change. The costs are too high, and the customer knows that," he says. "Customers are looking for alternative models that don't have the sort of religious overtones of the existing systems vendors and allow them to dramatically take cost out of their data-center environments."

This story was modified on Nov. 8 to correct the platform's price.

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