Chenbro breaks the 1PB in a 4U chassis barrier

Computex 2016: Angled drives in 1U for a second innovation

Chenbro LogoChenbro had two cases at Computex that took SemiAccurate by surprise. These included a 1U with 24 2.5″ bays and a monster 4U capable of housing more than 1PB of storage.

Yes the 1PB in a single 4U chassis barrier has been broken, actually shattered unless you consider a mere 40TB rounding error. Actually in this case it kind of is but ~4% is still ~4% above the golden number. The chassis in question is the Chenbro RM43596 that officially holds 96 drives in a 4U chassis. It looks like this.

Chenbro RM43596 96-bay 1+PB storage chassis

Chenbro’s 1PB+ chassis is a monster

If you are wondering how 96 * 10TB drives equals 1.04PB, the answer is easy, count the drives. The RM43596 has a SAS domain for the 8 rows of 6 drives on each side of the chassis, so 2 domains times 48 10TB drives gets us to .96PB. If you look closely at the center of the beast where the CPUs and DRAM are hidden, you will see 8 additional drive cages presumably to run the host system itself, caching would be more likely on 2.5″ SSDs. In any case those 8 drives bump up the total by a mere, in this case mere, 80TB for a grand total of 1.04PB. In a single 4U rack. Congratulations to Chenbro for breaking this barrier, the first SemiAccurate is aware of.

Chenbro 24 SSD angled chassis RM15334(Viking)

The first innovation in storage in a while

More technically interesting is the Chenbro RM15334(Viking) chassis designed for flash accelerators and related high performance I/O work. It packs an astounding 24 2.5″ drives in a 1U chassis through the first real innovation SemiAccurate has seen in years in this space, angled drive bays. Before you dismiss this as a real potential step change, think about the last thing in the datacenter storage space you would consider innovative, don’t worry, we’ll wait.

Chenbro angled SSD cage

A variant of the angled chassis

OK two hours is enough waiting, if you can’t come up with one by now, we will move on without you. The most impressive bit about the RM15334 is that these 24 7mm SSDs are actually hot-pluggable even with the angles, and those angled adapters are not actually angled connectors, they are at 90 degrees to the backplane so the woes of past attempts are avoided. How do you hot plug these? They slide down the angled part then the blue clips push the drive into the backplane rather than further down the angled bit. Very clever and for the second time in one article, well done Chenbro. Innovation in the datacenter space is far from over.S|A

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also available through Guidepoint and Mosaic. FullyAccurate