Intel’s 24-Core, 14-Drive Modular Server Reviewed

Cons And Conclusion

The MFSYS25 does have some drawbacks as well.

Lack of Power Down functionality on the MFSYS25 chassis:

  • No power switches on the chassis–The only way to completely shut the chassis down is by unplugging it.
  • No remote shut down–It would have been nice to have a remote shutdown option in the Modular Server Control user interface for the chassis, otherwise you have to be physically behind the MFSYS25 to shut it down.

No redundancy for the management module:

  • Since there’s a single NIC on the management module, losing the network connection to the chassis would prevent an admin from being able to manage the chassis remotely.

No built-in LED information panel on the front of the chassis that would provide quick stats about the server:

  • Because of the lack of physical status monitors on the MFSYS25, you have to log into a computer to see how the chassis is doing.  The built-in LED lights can only give you so much information.

LUN-sharing feature activation:

  • Customers shouldn’t have to pay extra for what is a standard SAN feature. 


The MFSYS25 is a great machine for a small- to medium-sized business. It has a great management tool, solid architecture, and built-in reliability that definitely make taking care of this machine a one-person job. 

As a remote server, I’m not sure it’s completely ready. It’s missing a couple of remote features that I’d like to see added before sticking the modular server in that little office out in the boonies. Some convenient features like remote chassis shutdown/restart, and additional operating system diagnostics would have added to the KVM and remote-hardware-management-features.

A fully loaded MFSYS25 chassis runs around $28,000. More on Intel Modular Servers

  • kevikom
    This is not a new concept. HP & IBM already have Blade servers. HP has one that is 6U and is modular. You can put up to 64 cores in it. Maybe Tom's could compare all of the blade chassis.
  • kevikom
    Also I did not see any pricing on this. Did i miss it somewhere???
  • sepuko
    Are the blades in IBM's and HP's solutions having to carry hard drives to operate? Or are you talking of certain model or what are you talking about anyway I'm lost in your general comparison. "They are not new cause those guys have had something similar/the concept is old."
  • Why isn't the poor network performance addressed as a con? No GigE interface should be producing results at FastE levels, ever.
  • nukemaster
    So, When you gonna start folding on it :p

    Did you contact Intel about that network thing. There network cards are normally top end. That has to be a bug.

    You should have tried to render 3d images on it. It should be able to flex some muscles there.
  • MonsterCookie
    Now frankly, this is NOT a computational server, and i would bet 30% of the price of this thing, that the product will be way overpriced and one could buid the same thing from normal 1U servers, like Supermicro 1U Twin.
    The nodes themselves are fine, because the CPU-s are fast. The problem is the build in Gigabit LAN, which is jut too slow (neither the troughput nor the latency of the GLan was not ment for these pourposes).
    In a real cumputational server the CPU-s should be directly interconnected with something like Hyper-Transport, or the separate nodes should communicate trough build-in Infiniband cards. The MINIMUM nowadays for a computational cluster would be 10G LAN buid in, and some software tool which can reduce the TCP/IP overhead and decrease the latency.
  • less its a typo the bench marked older AMD opterons. the AMD opteron 200s are based off the 939 socket(i think) which is ddr1 ecc. so no way would it stack up to the intel.
  • The server could be used as a Oracle RAC cluster. But as noted you really want better interconnects than 1gb Ethernet. And I suspect from the setup it makes a fare VM engine.
  • ghyatt
    I priced a full chassis out for a client, and it was under 20k...
  • navvara
    It can't be under 20K.

    I reallty want to know what the price of this server is.