[Techtaffy Newsdesk]

AOL has moved its first outside Micro Data Center (MDC) into production. The system currently handles about 20% of the traffic to AOL’s main websitePenguin Computing has worked with AOL to develop and deploy both the outdoor MDC as well as an indoor MDC for non-data center deployments.

AOL’s MDCs are small ‘Data Centers in a Box’. There are two MDC versions: one for outdoor, one for indoor use. Each MDC unit is self sufficient and includes high density servers and storage nodes from Penguin Computing’s Relion product line as well as PDU’s, switches, load balancers and external hookups for power and networking.

Mike Manos (CTO, AOL Services): MDCs are a game changer. They will enable AOL to deploy geo-distributed capacity at a very low cost point in terms of upfront capital and ongoing operational expense. As we enter new markets and constantly grow our localized offerings MDCs will become an increasingly important foundation for our product offerings. We expect that MDCs will enable us to roll out five times the amount of total compute capacity in less than 10% of the cost and physical footprint of a traditional data center based deployment. With a deep level of technical expertise and great dedication and commitment to our success Penguin Computing has been instrumental in reaching this great milestone for AOL.

The outdoor MDC is housed in a ruggedized 42U rack-size enclosure provided by Elliptical Mobile Solutions that is NEMA 3 rated and protects against fire, water, humidity and vandalism. It is cooled by a direct expansion cooling module integrated with the enclosure, and has an option for using air-side economization. The indoor MDC is housed in a 37U rack-size enclosure from AST Modular. It uses ventilation fans installed as part of the enclosure to keep the hardware within the manufacturer’s acceptable temperature range. The indoor MDC was designed for deployments in loosely controlled environments, as for example warehouse spaces.