Intel asks for Interest in Atom Servers

I found this post on Intel’s Software Blogs.

Atom processors in your ultra mobile... server?!

By Jeff Moriarty (Intel) (26 posts) on September 11, 2008 at 10:14 am

Not sure how I missed this at the time, but The Register reports UK hosting company Bytemark is using Atom processors in their servers.

Huh?  Servers?

I was initially pretty amused by this, but given that a search of "green data center" on The Google returns 22 million hits I guess I shouldn't have been.  Power consumption and cooling is a huge problem for data centers, and with the growth of grid computing Atom might be an interesting alternative.  It also might be a great opportunity for developers to design data center applications specifically for low power chips like Atom.

There are already some good thoughts on this topic on both sides on the Register site.  What do you think?  Could Atom enter the data center, or is it just not practical?

Where Intel is missing the opportunity is at home for geek’s who want to run servers. The opportunity for the Intel Atom is not in the data center, but in areas where performance per watt is not the issue, but total power consumed for an always on server.

Newegg has a couple of barebones systems that you can use to build Intel Atom Servers.


Shuttle X27 Intel 945GC 1 x 240Pin Intel GMA 950 Black & Silver Barebone - Retail

Shuttle Black & Silver Barebone - Retail
Small and quiet
Reviewed By: MattK on 9/26/2008
Rating + 5Rating + 5Rating + 5Rating + 5Rating + 5
Tech Level: high - Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
This user purchased this item from Newegg
Pros: I bought this mini system for use as a network USB hub. Since the system will be on all the time and in a main room of the house, this good looking, low power, quiet computer fits the bill. Onboard gigabit ethernet is also a huge plus.


MSI Wind PC Intel 945GC 1 x 200Pin Intel GMA 950 Black Barebone - Retail

(limit 1 per customer)  what's this?

MSI Wind PC Barebone - Retail

Rating + 4Rating + 4Rating + 4Rating + 4Rating + 4 Windows Home Server

Pros: Low power consumption, easy construction, ultra-quiet, ultra-small. I installed MS Windows Home Server on it with zero problems. No need for SATA controller drivers. I'm guessing the MSI board is running SATA in IDE emulation mode. I was able to use the driver CD that came with the Wind to get all the necessary devices running in Windows Home Server.
Cons: Only one hard drive bay available.
Other Thoughts: I built a Microsoft Windows Home Server usnig this barebones PC and I'm happy with it. Note that I'm ONLY using the WHS for backups. If you are going to store data on it, it'd be best to add a second hard drive (for WHS redundancy) or to keep ongoing backups of the WHS Shared Folders. Unfortunately, there's no ROOM for a second hard drive (unless you want to pull the DVD drive and make system recovery a bit messier), so the MSI Wind is NOT a a good box for a full-service home server.