Data Center And Small Office/Home Office Product Reviews And News

Data Centers for mission critical applications and cloud services require high-end, fault-tolerant hardware and software for servers, processors, storage, operating systems and more. Meanwhile, enterprise and small business road warriors alike need that same level of reliability on mobile devices and back at the office as well. If it connects people and systems, stores critical data or provides digital tools for business and professionals, you'll find our coverage here - from WiFi routers to Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices, High Performance Computing (HPC) and more, this channel means business.

While an auto repair shop might get away with employing a 25-year-old Commodore 64 to balance drive shafts, to run Facebook, the largest social network on the planet, it takes more modern equipment, and a lot of of it. Unfortunately, most people don't ever get to see it. Rarely do companies like Facebook ever lift the curtain and give us a glimpse of the technological wizardry running the show, but Mark Zuckerberg has decided to do exactly that, showcasing one of Facebook's chilly data centers located some 70 miles south of the Arctic Circle. The data center resides in a small town called Luleå. It's not a location for warm weather people -- temperatures in the area fall below 50F degrees on... Read more...
In June of last year, Intel announced a $16.7B acquisition of chip designer Altera, a Silicon Valley bellwether known for producing FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Arrays), PLDs (Programmable Logic Devices), Embedded Processors, and ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits). At the time of the announcement, Intel CEO Bryan Krzanich said, “Intel’s growth strategy is to expand our core assets into profitable, complementary market segments. With this acquisition, we will harness the power of Moore’s Law to make the next generation of solutions not just better, but able to do more.” That’s a nebulous way of saying Intel had plans to leverage Altera technology to boost its own profits, which... Read more...
The web is becoming the wild, wild west all over again it seems. You could argue the Internet's always been a potentially dangerous place, but with the proliferation of smart devices becoming increasingly commonplace, cybercriminals now have more points of entry into home networks than ever before. Smart home automation gadgets collectively comprise much of what's referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT), and just like your PC, they can be silently hijacked and enlisted into a botnet, a malicious network of systems under the control of a foreign party. Individually, all these smart lighting, media streamers, Nest thermostats, and other IoT gadgets don't pose a major threat, just as a... Read more...
Given the quick pace that today’s technology progresses, we’re used to seeing products with a few software and even hardware bugs. While software bugs can often be squashed with competent coding, hardware bugs can be a bit more difficult to tame. Such is the case with a bug that afflicts Cisco’s ASR 9000 Series routers. While big iron networking appliance bug reports for hardware issues are not uncommon, it’s Cisco’s explanation of the malady that's causing some consternation in tech and IT circles. Cisco Bug CSCuz62750 is described as causing “partial data traffic loss”, with data loss sometimes even occurring after a CRC (Cyclical Redundancy Check). The kicker here, however, is that Cisco... Read more...
There's an Apple parody that jokingly proclaims "Gold is best!" in reference to the gold colored iPhone handsets, but for Western Digital, gold really does represent the top of the line. WD Gold that is, a series of datacenter hard drives introduced in April that now boasts a brand new 10-terabyte capacity option (WD101KRYZ), Western Digital announced today. That's a 25 percent bump in capacity over the previous top option from the WD Gold line, an 8TB model (WD8002FRY2). And like that and the 6TB (WD600FRYZ) and 4TB (WD4002FYYZ) models comprising the WD Gold line, the new 10TB capacity HDD is a 3.5-inch drive with a SATA 6Gbps interface and 7,200 RPM spindle speed, along with support for Native... Read more...
At this point we've reviewed quite a few high-end AC routers, including tri-band routers, flagship dual-band models, and even the latest MU-MIMO devices too. However, the one portion of the market we haven't covered much is the one that exists on the more affordable end of the pricing spectrum. We all know there are quantifiable differences between a $100 GPU and a $300 GPU, but is that also true for 802.11ac routers as well? After all, they're all branded as AC routers, and have similar features and specifications.  This time around, we'll be taking a look at the $75 Tenda AC15 AC1900 router. Tenda is a lesser known brand in the US, but its AC router looks the part and is less than half... Read more...
A second wave of 802.11ac wireless routers have begun to appear, and the new must-have feature is MU-MIMO, short for Multiple User, Multiple Input, Multiple Output. We already reviewed the first two MU-MIMO routers we could get our hands on from Linksys and Netgear, and now Asus has entered the fray with a dual-band AC3100 router dubbed the RT-AC88U. This is a flagship router that has all the bells and whistles one would expect at a $300 price point, but it differentiates itself from the competition by offering Link Aggregation and eight LAN ports, which are uncommon features in a consumer-class router. The Netgear Nighthawk X8 also supports Link Aggregation and has six LAN ports, but is... Read more...
It looks as though the folks at Lian-Li took the term desktop computer a bit too literally with their new DK-04 system, which is literally a desk that doubles as an enclosure for your PC components. The DK-04 has a clean, industrial design and even has an electrically actuated height adjustment system that than can raise the desktop from a height of 30.7 inches to 46 inches at the touch of a button. The Lian-Li DK-04 also has all the makings of a kickass gaming case (as if the electronic height adjustment wasn’t enough). The desk itself is made out of aluminum (the legs are made out of iron), while the desk surface is made of tempered glass (which can support up to 220 pounds) so that you can... Read more...
Western Digital is launching a new color series to join its existing Red, Blue, Black, Green and Purple drive lines. And since we all know that Gold is best, Western Digital is saving the best for its new line of datacenter hard drives. The WD Gold drives come packing Western Digital’s HelioSeal technology, which infuses the drives with helium to make them quieter, more efficient and emboldened with more densely packed platters. HelioSeal is said to improve power efficiency by up to 15 percent, while at the same time reducing power consumption by 26 percent. Compared to the previous generation Re 4TB datacenter drives, sequential performance has increased by 18 percent. Random write performance... Read more...
At last week’s GPU Technology Conference, NVIDIA’s CEO Jen-Hsun Huang unveiled a couple of key products and technologies that target the High-Performance Computing, or HPC, space, including the Tesla P100 data center accelerator and its companion DGX-1 deep-learning system, which is a powerful server that has up to eight Tesla P100 cards at its core. Today though, we have more information about the underlying architecture employed in the P100, otherwise known NVIDIA’s Pascal GPU architecture.Pascal is the follow-up to the Maxwell architecture, which is leveraged in NVIDIA’s current-generation of graphics cards and mobile GPUs. And the Pascal-based GPU at the heart of the Tesla P100 is codenamed... Read more...
Intel is officially launching a brand new series of Xeon processors today, the Xeon Processor E5 v4. Unlike mainstream desktop products, which feature Intel’s latest core technologies like the Skylake-based Core i7-6700K, mission-critical, big-iron parts like the Xeon E5 v4 series are more complex and go through much more qualification, and as such tend to leverage core technologies that have long been proven in the consumer space. The the Xeon Processor E5 v4 family, for example, is based on Broadwell, or more specifically Broadwell-EP. We’ve already got a plethora of Broadwell coverage up here at HH, so we won’t go into detail again. But if you’d like a refresher, here are some links to our... Read more...
You read the headline correctly – this is not a review of a Synology NAS, but instead a wireless router. If this sounds unusual to you, you are not alone. Synology is a Network-Attached Storage (NAS) company, or at least it used to be, as it's now taking all its networking expertise and jumping into the router market, and the black beauty you see below is its maiden attempt. Plainly named, the Synology RT1900ac Router, the company’s fledgling entry into this crowded market, is a dual-band AC unit. As you might have guessed, it’s capable of 1,900Mb/s of bandwidth across its 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, offering up to 600Mb/s on the 2.4GHz spectrum, 1,300Mb/s on the 5GHz spectrum and is 802.11ac compatible... Read more...
If you have an older system that is still chugging along with a traditional hard disk drive (HDD), the easiest and most cost-effective way to speed up the machine in many standard uses is to drop in a solid state drive (SSD). This not only true for consumer and small businesses, but especially for enterprise market where fast IO response times in servers and workstations are critical. Seagate has just unveiled what it is calling "the world’s fastest SSD," and the performance differential between it and the next closest competitive offering is significant, if their claims are true. The SSD, which Seagate today announced is in "production-ready" form, is fully compliant with the Open Compute Project... Read more...
Solid State Storage continues to come down in cost and scale higher in speed and density. Though spinning hard disk media will likely have a place at least in the data center perhaps for generations to come, SSDs are making great strides, driving toward cost parity with HDDs with each new generation of product, while offering orders of magnitude performance gains and even higher reliability in many applications. One of the biggest names in Flash storage is Samsung, from their consumer grade SSD 950 Pro and 850 EVO lines to the squarely enterprise-targeted product the company has announced for volume availability today. Laying to rest the short-lived claim Fixstar made on "the world's largest... Read more...
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