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Black Box Micro Cluster

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The standard lead time on this product is 20 working days
Please contact us for pricing : sales@cluster.engineering

Product Description

Product Description


Note this product is end of life (EOL), and is not recommended for new customers / orders.  

A very small number of units are still available for sale on a first come, first served basis, at a discounted price.
£1576.00 saving (note these units are available with a 6 month warranty)

We recommend that you consider the new version of this micro cluster - the V4n.  Available as a fully configured (Ubuntu Branded) unit, or as a customisable unit.  To configure your own V4n unit, first select the 'core', which includes node0, and then add/ configure further nodes in the 'blade configurator'  


The Black Box is an innovative, custom designed micro cluster.  The chassis includes a small cluster of Intel NUC (Next Unit of Computing) boards, and is particularly well suited for portable demonstration and local prototyping of cloud workloads.  The Black Box, manufactured in the UK to exacting standards is available to order and ships internationally. 

FREE - Custom Laser Logo - For no extra cost, you can have your own LOGO laser etched to the front handle of the unit.  When checking out, please select the Custom Laser Logo option and upload your file.  The factory will send a proof of your design, before proceeding.  If you prefer you can send your logo (ideally an .eps file) and we will send back to you a photograph of a mock up of your unit - send your file to us now

OPTIONAL Chassis paint - Custom colour.  If you have a particular colour for your corporation, we can (optionally) finish the 'black box' in that colour - please contact us to discuss.

Each Black Box chassis contains:

  • 10x Intel NUCs -Specifically, the Ivy Bridge D53427RKE model (with vPro)
  • Each Intel NUC module contains:
  • i5-3427U CPU
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • 16GB of DDR3 RAM
  • 120GB SSD root disk
  • Intel Gigabit ethernet
  • TP Link TL-SG1016DE managed gigabit switch with 802.1q VLAN support
  • All 10 nodes are internally connected to this gigabit switch
  • 100-240V AC/DC power supply (with loop power out 110/240V)
  • 19V DC power supplied to each NUC (320W PSU)

In aggregate, this micro cluster effectively fields 40 cores, 160GB of RAM, 1.2TB of solid state storage, and is connected over an internal gigabit network fabric. 
A single fan quietly cools the power supply, while all of the nodes are passively cooled by aluminum heat sinks spanning each side of the chassis.

The first node, node0, additionally contains:

  • An Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 WiFi adapter
  • A 2TB HDD (spinning)
  • USB and HDMI ports are wired and accessible from the rear of the box

Access to the USB/HDMI of nodes1-9 is accessible from the underside of the unit

6x GBE LAN ports (all connected to the internal switch) are exposed to the rear panel, for external access, or even clustering of multiple Black Boxes together.


How big is the Black Box?




The Black Box weighs 19Kg (nett) or 29Kg in the Peli flight case     



ARSTECHNICA - "Still, all that being said, I wish my closet had an Orange Box in it. That thing is hella cool!"

ZDNET - Chris Kenyon, Canonical's senior VP for worldwide sales and business development, told me the next day: "We've had people come up to the booth wanting to order a hundred of them." Large companies look at the Orange Box and see a way to quickly and easily deploy an OpenStack cloud in remote offices and branches. Small companies see it as a one-stop way to add a private cloud to their office without any fuss or muss.  In a conversation after the keynote, Shuttleworth agreed that they hadn't expected this kind of reaction.

TheVARGUY - Better still, the Orange Box comes preconfigured with software that provides a basis for launching Ubuntu-based cloud technologies.

From the Canyon Edge - The Orange Box provides a spectacular development platform, showcasing in mere minutes the power of hardware provisioning and service orchestration with UbuntuMAASJuju, and Landscape.  OpenStackHadoopCloudFoundry, and hundreds of other workloads deploy in minutes, to real hardware -- not just instances in AWS!  It also makes one hell of a Steam server -- there's a charm for that ;-)



Tax (VAT) rules

If you place an order, from outside the EU, there is no VAT (TAX) to pay.
If you place an order, from outside the UK but within the EU, and you are a VAT registered business, you will not pay VAT
If you place an order, from outside the UK but within the EU, and you are a not VAT registered business, you will pay VAT



If you have any questions regarding the Black Box, of a technical nature, or want to chat to Tranquil PC - please drop us a line, use the Live Chat button to the left of this screen, or call us +44 161 402 3036 (during UK office hours). 

Please note The Black Box (supplied by Tranquil) does not come with any Canonical Commercial Support, from Ubuntu.

Warranty Information

We offer a 6 month Return to Base Warranty.

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