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On June 25th (local time in Germany), Inspur launched the NF5486M5 server with the world’s highest storage density at the ISC18 (International Supercomputing Conference 2018). Designed for large-scale datacenter users such as CSP and telecom operators, the server is optimal for application scenarios of warm data and cold data, including video storage, archival storage and mail storage, as well as numerous application scenarios in big data and high-performance computing.

Storage Density: 4U for 106 HDDs

The 4U server supports 106 3.5" HDDs and has a remarkable storage capacity of 1.25PB, making it the IT device with the highest storage density in the industry. With a M.2 HDD as its OS, the server perfectly balances the storage capacity of warm data, cold data and system performance.

NF5486M5 supports an agile I/O, and comes with an I/O interface up to OCP standard, supporting 100Gb OCP NIC and PCIe 16X slot, and is compatible with 1Gb/10Gb/25Gb/40Gb/100Gb NICs.

With excellent maintainability and energy efficiency, NF5486M5 is well positioned for cloud data center deployment. It features fully modular design, with all modules supporting hot-swap and maintenance as the device remains in operation. An integrated hardware/software management solution developed by Inspur engineers allows the administrator to precisely identify faulted HDD and find out the cause on the admin interface. The faulted part can be taken out of the rack and repaired while the device remains in operation. NF5486M5 also adopts smart dynamic control technology for power supply and thermal dissipation. With an on/off control module configured for each HDD, the server adjusts real-time power according to the workload of each disk, effectively improving overall energy efficiency.  

Structure and Thermal Dissipation Design Challenging Physical Limits

This product sets a world record for storage devices with the highest storage density. Innovative technologies including a partition reinforced structure, resonance suppression structure and high-precision airflow deployment technology solve problems of deformation, thermal dissipation and resonance.

The fully-configured NF5486M5 weighs up to 200 kg. To meet the considerable challenge of controlling deformation within the maximum margin of error, along with high-strength structure technology, partition design has also been introduced to divide the whole chassis into HDD, controller, power, fan and other structural modules. Such design ensures lower risk of deformation for the fully-configured server than the standard of tolerance.

The energy dissipation density and component density of NF5486M5 are far higher than those of ordinary servers. When the 8 rows of HDDs are in operation, each row generates 2°C preheats on the rest of the HDDs, which means the last row of HDDs will operate at almost a critical temperature. To tackle this challenge, Inspur engineer employed precise airflow technology in each row and partition to reduce preheating to less than 1°C, ensuring normal server operation.

When it’s working, the rotating HDDs create vibrations of the same frequency. When transmitted to the chassis, the vibration may easily cause disk resonance and device damage. The HDD bracket of NF5486M5 is made from different cushioning material combinations, which absorbs disk vibrations and effectively avoids disk resonance.

Two Ultimate Scenario-Based Designs

Inspur’s new generation M5 server adopts a scenario-based design principle in two aspects. Chen Yanling, the deputy general manager of Inspur Server Product Dept., noted that its physical design has been upgraded to continuously improve density, energy efficiency, manageability and maintainability in line with data center deployment conditions, which enormously lowers the total costs and technological complexity. At the same time, the problem of ‘100 applications running on one platform’ has also been solved, as the server optimizes computing, storage and I/O as well as extends space for different application scenarios, allowing different application systems to run on appropriate hardware platforms.

The M5 server comes with an SR-AI rack system with the world’ strongest GPU scalability, the NF5288M5 with the world’s highest GPU density, i48 and various application servers for AI, big data and enterprise private cloud.

Meeting the Requirements of Intelligent Computing

Currently, civilian computing is evolving towards cloud computing and intelligent computing. Peng Zhen, vice president of Inspur Group, noted that the changes of civilian computing call for changes in server products. Hyper – scale data centers are taking over traditional data centers, while innovative application models such as AI are emerging, requiring server enterprises to shift to scenario-based design from traditional balanced design.

Inspur has seized the opportunity of intelligent computing development. Per Gartner’s 2018 Q1 report Inspur server shipments and sales ranked No.3 in the world and No.1 in China. In 11 of the past 17 quarters, Inspur has been the world’s fast-growing server provider. Inspur now aims to grow into the world’s largest server provider in 5 years.

According to Chen Yanling, Inspur will further optimize its scenario-based design to better satisfy global customers and serve global markets. Currently, Inspur has customers in 113 countries and regions, and has established 8 global R&D centers, 6 global production centers and 2 global service centers. Inspur’s market share is growing rapidly in regions including the USA, China, Europe, South Korea and Japan.


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