Sept 29, 2006 - Processor Magazine: Ready-To-Run Desktops & Servers
Processor Magazine, Online: processor.com
September 29, 2006
Vol.28 Issue 39
Page(s) 17 in print issue
Ready-To-Run Desktops & Servers eRacks Provides Customized, Turnkey Unix Workstations & Servers
The world of open-source software offers reduced pricing and more relaxed licensing agreements, both good for smaller businesses as well as large enterprise-level operations. As Unix gains in popularity and requires some technical acumen, companies selling turnkey Unix workstations and server systems are fulfilling a very real need.
eRacks Open Source Systems is offering ready-to-run desktop and server systems loaded with various versions of the open source, Linux-based Ubuntu operating system. This Linux distribution is derived from Debian Linux.
Among its various offerings, the company has recently finished testing a new model: eRacks/FOCUS, a truly noiseless high-power AMD64 workstation. Another new product offering from the company is the eRacks/LITE system, a shallow-depth (13-inch) 1U rackmount system. The system has been optimized for low noise output. The LITE system has been engineered for environments where space is at a premium, as well as shops where noise must be kept to a minimum such as for audio-/video-editing.
For many work settings, sound generation from the machine can be a major issue. According to Britta Serog with eRacks Open Source Systems marketing, “We’ve developed many different ‘quietized’ systems on customers’ requests. Machine noise is a bigger problem than the big computer manufacturers realize. Not everyone can put their rackmount systems into a soundproof server room; many systems are used for audio applications, such as video-editing, radio broadcast, hospital data management, etc.”
The competition for eRacks comes from some of the major computer manufacturers, as well as various Unix providers. Serog says, “These include the big players, namely Dell, HP, etc. But these companies generally don’t offer the degree of customization that eRacks does, especially in terms of operating system choice, as well as system quietization. Smaller players that compete concentrating on open-source operating systems include Pogo Linux [www.pogolinux.com] and Penguin Computing [www.penguincomputing.com], but these companies typically offer only varieties of Red Hat and SuSE Linux and tend to ignore OpenBSD and other open-source operating systems.”
eRacks is currently offering the following Ubuntu distributions: Ubuntu Server; Edubuntu for educational uses; Kubuntu, which is based on KDE environment; and Xubuntu for low-end systems and thin clients.
In addition to providing custom turnkey hardware platforms, eRacks will install drivers and various software on request and provides consulting, network configuration, and open-source enterprise migration planning.
by Joe Lazzaro