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An ATCA “Stateless Server” Update?

In 2007 we explored what was happening in the Advanced TCA (ATCA) storage arena and some of the potential benefits of introducing iSCSI into this architecture. Looking at the upcoming product release of the Astute Networks Caspian blade solution, the time for a stateless ATCA server has arrived.

An ideal way to build a “stateless” ACTA server solution is by combining an Alliance A-13000 platform solution and the Astute Networks’ Caspian 10Gb iSCSI Storage Blades with remote iSCSI boot. The stateless server is a simple concept. On a stateless server there are zero disk or flash drives that hold the “state” (OS, Applications, Data) of the server. Upon boot up, the state of the server is loaded on the server from some centralized or remote source. This enables the server to be dynamically allocated without the need to re-build applications, Operating Systems or migrate required data.

Astute’s Caspian Storage Blade is a 10Gb iSCSI storage solution for ATCA. It is designed to provide remote boot services for diskless and stateless server environments. Caspian’s remote boot support allows NEP and Telcos to centralize their storage to support all servers. They can now store a single set of OS boot images and applications files that can be shared over all servers in the chassis. Centralizing the storage reduces management overhead, capital cost, power consumption and improves recovery time, server deployment time and systems availability of DAS.

Final Score

The stateless server concept will radically improve the overall solution by reducing the time to repurpose servers and eliminating the need to migrate data. Once you throw in the lower acquisition cost for the storage, this new disruptive technology has a bright future. IT

Jeff Hudgins is VP of Engineering at Alliance Systems (News - Alert) (

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