What do you get when you stick 48 Mac Pro units in the same spot? A data center cabinet from CyberLynk's Mac Pro Vault that is near pornographic in the amount of raw Apple computing power it can hold.
The new Mac Pro cabinets are part of the company's colocation service that began with Mac Mini Vault in 2010 and now extends to the 2013-era Mac Pro units. The first Mac Pro Vault cabinet was up and running in late 2014 in the company's Milwaukee data center. CyberLynk plans to have Mac Pro cabinets roll out to its second data center in Phoenix by mid-2015.
The company doesn't sell the cabinets designing them only for its data centers. However, the cabinets can be placed in other server farms if necessary since they are standard size — albeit taller to encompass Apple's unique Mac Pro design.
The story behind the story: The Mac Pro Vault service is a major leap forward in space savings compared to the older Mac Pro towers. CyberLynk was only able to house six of the previous Mac Pro units in a single cabinet compared to 48 the newer units now hold. What's most staggering, however, is to think of the amount of money tied up in just one cabinet. With Mac Pro prices starting at $3,000 (not counting CyberLynk's hardware discount) these cabinets contain at a minimum more than $14,000 worth of computing equipment when full.
How it all works
Each cabinet contains six slide-out shelves that can hold eight Mac Pros each. The cabinets can also hold external RAID units instead of a Mac Pro to augment a nearby computer's onboard storage, which tops out at 1TB.
To deal with all those PC and RAID units in such a confined space each shelf has separate cold and hot exhaust manifold systems. The back of the exhaust manifold has four high-speed fans that are designed to draw heat from the eight Mac Pro systems. CyberLynk says the manifolds also have strategically placed heat probe sensors and a fan control module to raise and lower the fan speeds as necessary.
So what on earth are people doing with colocation Mac Pros? CyberLynk data center solutions architect Jonathan Schwenn says there are a number of use cases for a service like Mac Pro Vault including database hosting, software development and testing, and virtualization.
CyberLynk expects the newer Mac Pro units to replace the old tower-style Mac Pro servers, which the company also hosts, as the aging machines phase out. The company is also phasing out its quad-core Mac mini inventory in favor of the "lower-end" Mac Pro units.
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