back to article Vendor touts notebook as desktop server replacement

We've all heard of laptop computers that have been designed to replace desktop PCs, but this is the first time we've come across one that's intended a server replacement. Notebook specialist Eurocom this week unwrapped the Phantom-X, a machine equipped with an quad-core, 95W, 12MB of L2 cache Intel Xeon X3360 processor running …

COMMENTS

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    hmmm

    that's a nice bit of kit - I can immediatly think of two or three things it could be very useful for. A full demo system you could take to prospective clients so they could see the real thing running and as a bit of DR kit you can keep in a cupboard.

    It's obviously not meant to be used as a mobile platform but a portable one.

    Interesting piece of kit indeed.

  2. Gary

    but will it...

    ..play Crysis.

    There's nothing like having a few rounds with a radical faction in the jungle, using your strong suit whilst providing aid to a 3rd world country.

  3. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Stop

    What?

    Only ONE socket, I want at least a dual Xeon beast!

  4. scot stockwell
    Thumb Up

    1 hour battery life...

    is cheaper than a separate UPS!

  5. Peter Ford

    rack mount?

    How about adding some sliding rails to slot into a 19" rack, then you've got a 1U server with and integrated screen and keyboard.

    No UPS, no KVM switches, it almost works to replace all of your regular web/mail/whatever servers with high spec laptops.

    The price is a bit steep though: if Dell could turn out something similar at about £1500 then we might be talking business...

  6. Steven Raith

    RE: 1 hour battery life...

    Or you could spend that £3000 on a pair of DL380s and a UPS and have proper servers.

    DL360x2:

    http://www.dabs.com/productview.aspx?quicklinx=4PS0&tduid=a1ce54355b33411380dfef1de0a0b334

    UPS:

    http://www.stuff-uk.net/?s=ST-AF414A

    Still, nice bit of kit - keep it linked as a backup DC/file server with a mirror of some users storage space on a USB drive, and i guess you could get some use out of it in a power cut.

    An answer to a question very, very few people have asked methinks?

    Steven R

  7. Paul Hampson

    With all those fans...

    ...does it hover above the desk? That would be an exciting feature!

  8. Alex
    Thumb Down

    Erm..

    Ok, I suppose it mimicks a server(ish), but I've been running Server 2003 on my bog standard IBM with no issues at all. I even get 3 hours battery life...

    So um, for a 6th of the price, i get something that works, but not as server like as this..

    Think I'll stick with the IBM..

  9. Edwin

    Nice!

    I've had a few consultants pop round carrying a set of thinkpads in a client-server configuration, but a normal laptop can't usually cut the mustard when it comes to heavy server loading.

    A bit niche-market though, and I'm not sure corporate IT departments will run to a non-big-4 (5? 3?) laptop manufacturer for it...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Definitely interesting

    As already commented, it's not designed to be routinely run without mains power - but the battery is marketed as a UPS - to keep it running whilst the mains is interrupted.

    Most of the time I use my laptop like that - it's docked in the office, and at home it's plugged into the mains next to the sofa. There's very few times that I actually use it without access to mains power. I use a laptop mainly for the portability, rather than the mains-less ability.

    Certainly is useful for a demo server to take around to presentations etc.

  11. Farai
    IT Angle

    So powerful that...

    So powerful is this machine that you wouldn't even have enough battery time to show how powerful it is haha! Now THATS powerful!!!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Nothing new under the Sun...

    The idea of a laptop server is hardly new. Tadpole have been pushing Sparc based servers running Solaris for years.

  13. AListair

    500 times the storage

    "three 3Gb/s SATA hard drives in a 1.5TB RAID configuration"

    I want to know how that raid setup works.

  14. E

    Powerful?

    Enough to run emacs smoothly!

  15. Mike Tree
    Alert

    .....500 times the storage

    "three 3Gb/s SATA hard drives in a 1.5TB RAID configuration"

    I want to know how that raid setup works.

    Well, how about 3 x 750GB raid 5

    I wonder how noisy it is, and how much heat it kicks out. And...

    I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

  16. Christian Berger Silver badge

    Reminds me of something

    Back in the days before the Pentium, I saw a photo of a server with buildt in keyboard and LCD screen. Of course that was a big-tower box.

  17. Sylvain Drapeau

    @AListair

    Just so you know, thats "3Gb/s" (3 Gb per second)... that's bus speed, not storage capacity.

    must be 3 x 500Gb drives.

  18. Bill Gould
    Gates Halo

    @AListair

    ""three 3Gb/s SATA hard drives in a 1.5TB RAID configuration"

    I want to know how that raid setup works."

    3x 500GB drives in a Raid 0

    They never said it was good.

  19. Matthew Coulson

    RAID

    Could be 750GB drives in RAID5.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    @ AListair

    3 X 500GB drives in RAID 0 prehaps?

    Not ideal as a server config for sure, but the larger storage number looks more impressive on the spec sheet than the RAID 5's capacity would.....

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Re: 500 times the storage

    Err... what does speed have to do with capacity?

  22. This post has been deleted by its author

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    But...

    is is powerful enough to run Vista?

  24. David Cornes

    Stop being nitpicky geeks!

    Of course they quoted raw capacity (3 x 500GB) for the press release, but really expect you to use a more redundant RAID setup if you care about data security.

    And yes, a portable 'server' box one person can easily get in and out of a car has a LOT of uses. Let's face it client and server OSes are the same thing nowadays, just with different clothing and tweaks (remember Netware or LAN Manager anyone?), so a box that can function as both when necessary is a pretty obvious idea.

    What goes around comes around: aren't blade servers really just laptop technology on steroids?

  25. Flocke Kroes Silver badge
    Go

    Server disks in a portable?

    2.5" disks move the heads of the surface before spinning down - the better ones will move the heads somewhere safe during free fall on the assumption that the drive is about to experience a shock. 3.5" disk life time limited by the number of times the heads can land on the disk before they get scraped off. 3.5" disks do not bounce anything like as well as 2.5"disks.

    If you want this thing to work reliably, keep one drive shut down in reserve and set up the other two mirrored.

    Think of this box as being proof against spyware and adware. It can be loaded down with crap, take part in a brute force password cracking botnet and still keep up with an eee pc.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Re: Server disks in a portable?

    "2.5" disks move the heads of the surface before spinning down, 3.5" disk life time limited by the number of times the heads can land on the disk before they get scraped off"

    I don't know where that bit of knowledge comes from but I have in front of me an (old, old) 2.5'' Quantum Daytona that cannot move the arms off the disk and IBM Deskstar from 2001 that can move them off into a little plastic clips (the only one in my 3.5'' collection that can do that). So, fact or fiction?

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    No kidding...

    The case open photo shows a warning: "CAUTION: HIGH TEMPERATURE PARTS".

    Put an ice pack in your undies then.

  28. James O'Brien
    Coat

    @but will it...

    Blend?

    Re: Re: Server disks in a portable?

    As for the IBM Deathstar you have I have a group of drives on my wall coverless (the tech wall of shame or dead hardware), and the only one I have is an old Quantum Bigfoot that cannot move the heads off the disc. Even an old Maxtor Diamond has the ability to just you cannot see it as instead of moving it "OFF" the disc edge it moves towards the center and gets lifted off to park there. *shrugs* just my 2 cents.

  29. Matthew Lloyd
    Stop

    UPS...

    They are quoting the standard Laptop battery (Lithium Ion I assume) as a UPS, yet I've seen that with most batteries of this kind that continuous charging actually slowly breaks the battery causing it to store a lower charge, therefore not lasting anything as long as it's supposed to. So after a few months of use the UPS becomes pretty useless...

    Or is that only on the really crappy & cheap Dell ones?

  30. Wize

    Disk heads

    Maybe you have to drop to dos and issue the old PARK command.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    1 hour - Ok ... but...

    O.K., so the beast stays up for an hour ... but what I want to know is what's going to power our networking and telephony structure when some JCB touting maniac cuts the cables?

    Also, most laptop batteries I've had eventually die in short order when kept in the machine while the mains powers it. Sounds like a solution looking for a prob... oi! Who cut the lights?!?!

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    Fans

    Looks disturbingly similar to the Rock Xtreme 64 I had.

    The fans on that suck cool air in from the bottom and blow hot air out of the back and the sides. It was actually quite cool on your lap and the cat liked it because the graphics card exhaust blew hot air out of the side.

    Of course, with the fans sucking air in from the bottom it makes it harder to pick up while it's running.

  33. Patrick Mulvany
    Go

    Re:UPS...

    They are quoting the standard Laptop battery (Lithium Ion I assume) as a UPS, yet I've seen that with most batteries of this kind that continuous charging actually slowly breaks the battery causing it to store a lower charge, therefore not lasting anything as long as it's supposed to. So after a few months of use the UPS becomes pretty useless...

    Or is that only on the really crappy & cheap Dell ones?

    This is actually more of a design issue. Traditionally Dell laptops power up via the battery hence you can not remove the battery when the machine is on mains power. Hence Dell batteries have in my experience tended to run slightly warm even when the machine is on mains.

    Most other laptops settle for a augmented supply configuration where the battery is an either/or option and gets charged via the mains when it is available. To me this latter configuration makes most sense for a UPS as a UPS should be able to handle a brown out as well as a conventional blackout.

    However you do get problems with batteries when you cycle frequently my current laptop needed a new battery after 9 months of being power cycled twice a day but then most people don't need to work on a train for a stupid number of hours a day.

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