160 Mac minis crammed into custom 2′ x 2′ datacenter rack
Hackaday.com pointed us to this custom rack sporting 160 Mac Minis that was originally posted by Steve’s blog. There isn’t a whole lot of information about where exactly the rack is being used, but Steve said the goal was to replace Xserve by coming up “with a way to get the same or better CPU core density into a standard 2′ by 2′ datacenter rack.” The custom 160 Mac mini rack provided him with 640 cores—compared to his 40 Xserve setup at 320 cores per rack. However, there were many considerations to make, i.e., custom shelving, managing the exhaust of the minis, cooling, “Y” power cable splitters, etc., and Steve walked through the solution for each on his blog.
I have introduced these machines to the production environment, they run great… I had to add a 10Gb SFP+ Ethernet card to the XServe, and now I can NetBoot all 160 machines at the same time.. It works so well that all of the machines are back up and running within 45 seconds…. That’s fast for a NetBoot.. Here are some final pics of the cabinet.