Datacentre-in-a-box wins US design award

The box can handle a capacity of 6U

After quietly launching its wall-mounted datacentre-in-a-box, Armarac, at the Interop conference in Las Vegas last year, Auckland engineering company Thureon has not only secured deals in New Zealand and Australia but also in the US and the Middle East.

Clients range from schools and shopping malls to defence and state departments, says Thureon’s chief executive, Tarun Kanji.

And last week, the company won an award for the Armarac box in the computer equipment category of the 2008 IDSA International Design Excellence Awards, the US product design awards.

Armarac is a wall-mounted clamshell box that holds 19-inch servers as well as networking and communications gear. It is water, fire and dust resistant, and also protects the equipment from theft and vandalism, says the company.

The box is 71 centimetres wide by 172 centimetres high, and requires just half a square metre of space when fully opened. As Thureon’s box is bolted to the wall, it doesn’t take up any floor space either.

Thureon’s founders, Ross Vincent and Darren Smith, had the idea for a wall-mounted datacentre four years ago, when they were working with a client who needed a temporary remote office in a factory that had no place to put its equipment, Vincent says.

Inside the box, the company’s Vertiblade hinging mechanism holds the devices vertically and opens like the pages in a book, says Vincent. The 1U (rack unit) or 2U servers can sit on the full-length brackets, and the box can handle a capacity of 6U, he says.

The company is currently in the middle of a capital-raising project, says Kanji, who recently joined the company.

Apart from the Interop launch last year, there has been no other marketing of Armarac, but the company has still made significant wins, says Kanji.

Kanji now plans to take the product to the global market as quickly as possible and to increase staff numbers from a handful, based in New Zealand, to 35 globally.

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