2013
03.08

Thanks to a blog comment from “GP Paul” for this one.  Fujitsu has launched the PRIMERGY CX420 S1, a new “more affordable” cluster-in-a-box for Windows Server 2012.

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Fujitsu describes the CS420 S1 as:

… an out-of-the-box Dual Node cluster server for Microsoft® Windows Server® 2012, enabling small and medium enterprises or multi-site organizations to provide continuous uptime for their business applications and data.

EDIT: In the pictures you can see that the dozen JBOD drives (Storage Spaces) are in the front. At the back you have 2 blade servers and 2 PSUs (in the middle).

They say that:

Highest data and application availability at decreased investment costs are achievable by leveraging the diverse roles and features of Microsoft® Windows Server® 2012, e. g. Storage Spaces and Failover Clustering, altogether avoiding purchase of expensive storage infrastructure.

Features:

  • 2U chassis
  • 12 * 3.5” shared disks (HDD or SSD)
  • 2 hot-plug PSUs
  • 2 blade servers

According to a data sheet:

„CX420 and all its components fully comply to the Microsoft® Windows Server® 2012 certifications, making sure that cluster operations such as failover or recovery of applications and data are working reliably.

The chassis docs don’t seem to mention networking – a minor concern for a cluster! Smile 

The servers are PRIMERGY CX272 S1:

  • 2U half-wide server
  • Intel Xeon E5-2600 family (dual socket, 4, 6 or 8 cores each
  • 16 high bandwidth memory modules expanding up to 256 GB RAM
  • 1 free PCIe Gen3 slot
  • SAS HBA

We can just the “more affordable” because Fujitsu did not share pricing at CeBIT earlier this week.  It is going on sale in central Europe, the Middle East, and Africa this month apparently.

EDIT#1:

I have some updates on packaging and pricing – Thanks to you-know-who!

The CX420-S is specified as follows:

  • 2 cluster nodes each with: 2 * Xeon 4 core (E5-2609) and 24 GB RAM
  • 4 * 1 TB NL-SAS
  • Windows Server Standard
  • Price to be aimed at €15K

The CX420-M is specified as follows:

  • 2 cluster nodes each with: 2 * Xeon 6 core (E5-2630) and 48 GB RAM
  • 8 * 1 TB NL-SAS
  • Windows Server Datacenter
  • Price to be aimed at €25K

I personally would prefer an option without the OS: If I was in this market I’d buy WinServ Datacenter under OVS (with SA to ensure upgrades for the Management and guest OSs plus the other benefits).  I’d buy the lowest spec model and upgrade the RAM from the grey market.  And I’d be interested in hearing from Fujitsu customers if you can buy disks from the grey market (yes – I know they wouldn’t be supported by Fujitsu) because I bet you’d spec up this CiB more economically with 3rd party parts if it was possible.

EDIT#2:

The Register reports that:

The two-node "cluster-in-a-box" starts at under $12,000 in its base configuration; the chassis and its two nodes will ship in North America in June.

4 comments so far

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  1. Thanks for the mention Aidan!

    I am about a week away from taking delivery of one of these. Would generally prefer to go HP for something like this but need to keep the price down for a non profit customer.

    Couple of notes from your post:

    I personally would prefer an option without the OS – (Are box is being shipped with no O/S)

    Networking: The CX272 S1 Nodes support the use of 2 a port InfiniBand HCA 56 Gb/s. The controller built into the chassis has 3 x 1Gb/s ports, 1 of which is assigned for management but can be configured as an additional useable interface.

  2. Hi guys,
    First a thnx to both and especially to Aidan; great posts on HyperV failover clustering! Learned a lot in “little” time..
    Q1: regarding last post: what is “Are” in the Are box is being shipped without OS line?

    Q2: how is the redundacy done at storage level?; SAS HBA’s seem to be used, so resiliency must be done at Windows Storage Spaces? If so; with external enclosures 3 of these would be required for mirrorring; right? How did Fujitsu do the trick in this box?
    Just curious..:-)
    Many thnx!

    • Q2: A storage space is an aggregation of non-Raided disks like a disk group in a SAN. From that you create virtual disks that take a small piece of each physical disk in the storage space. These can be simple (no protection), mirrored (with 2 or 3 [you choose which] duplicates on every disk – best performance but highest cost), and striped (parity striping across every disk). In the end, it works like a SAN.

  3. thnx Aidan; my confusion though is at the enclosure level redundancy: I was desiging a setup with 2HV nodes and 2 SAS JBODS for redundancy at JBOD enclosure level. MSFT states in the following article http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj822937.aspx that one requires 3 enclosures for redundancy at enclosure level:
    “Storage spaces must use the mirror resiliency type. For two-way mirrors, you must use three compatible storage enclosures. For three-way mirrors, you must use five compatible storage enclosures”.
    So I can see how disk level resiliency is done, but do not quite get the “enclosure” part;
    are the 12 disks connected to one expander backplane? (equalling 1 JBOD enclosure?
    Thnx again!

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