General Micro Systems’ Apex “Forever Server” system is described as compact, secure, exceptionally powerful, rugged and modular. Designed for harsh use, it’s upgradeable and can reduce an entire rack’s worth of functionality into a single product, saving size, weight, power (SWaP) and total cost of ownership (TCO). Apex is a standard width 19-inch dual Intel Xeon server system that replaces up to 17U worth of equivalent equipment in 2U of shelf space. The system contains six super-dense hot swappable modules that can each be upgraded as needed.
The system features the FlexVPX multi-dimensional backplane fabric backplane that runs natively at PCIe Gen 3 directly to every subsystem. FlexVPX also extends outside of Apex to an expansion chassis for Nvidia GPGPU or Xilinx FPGA co-processor engines for deep learning, data mining, augmented reality, or blockchain or hash algorithm engines. Allegedly, the accessory turns one 2U Apex into a mobile supercomputer.
Apex also contains 12 removable drives, plus six fixed drives (five SAM I/O or mSATA plus M.2 on XMC). With the removable drives, up to 96 TB (8 TB x 12) of encrypted storage can be used for data recording.
Apex modules encompass three key areas: CPU and Bus Fabric; Networking and I/O; and Storage. Apex uses two of Intel’s highest-performing Xeon E5 22 core server CPUs, adds 1 TB of DDR4 ECC-protected DRAM, and the FlexVPX bus fabric routes 80 PCIe Gen 3 8 Gbps lanes between subsystem modules for a flow-through architecture. FlexVPX is capable of scaling to 20 Gbps as technology evolves, making Apex future-proof.
Supporting the CPU subsystem are six 40 Gbps fiber Ethernet ports, plus two 1 Gbps copper Ethernet ports—all operating at full bandwidth, plus a baseboard management controller for out-of-band management capabilities over IPMI, including SNMP. An HDMI port is used for console video, and there are six USB 3.0 ports, two USB-C ports with 45 W power delivery, and a removable and “sanitizable” SSD for the operating system, which can be substituted for an XMC I/O module.
Unique to Apex are 32 lanes of PCIe Gen 3 to other expansion chassis such as those from One Stop Systems or other GPGPU deep learning systems. The fabric also connects multiple Apex servers together.
Additionally, Apex is powered by three N+1 redundant MIL-STD-704 AC or MIL-STD-1275 DC power supplies and contains an inboard auxiliary power unit (APU). 400 Hz AC power is available for avionics applications. For more info, take a gander at the Apex datasheet.