TYAN IS SHIFTING gears, hard, both on the product side of things and how they sell them. The new products are a line called Yellow River (YR), and they will never be sold retail.
Since Mitac bought out Tyan a few years ago, the company has been in a bit of a lull. Nothing they did was groundbreaking, Supermicro got all the headlines. In the background, Tyan was beavering away and churning out their next gen parts while reinventing the company.
Yellow River is a family of parts, a cross between a self-contained blade and a half-U server. There are one and two U high variants, so if you need to put in a full height card, there is a solution for you. As things stand, Yellow River only uses Intel CPUs, Nehalem or Penryn variants, take your pick. We are guessing that there will be an AMD version to follow once socket G34 hits in a few months, it doesn’t make much sense to build infrastructure on an end of life socket.
These are not very yellow
One thing Tyan is doing that no one else seems to is making the YR blades mostly self-contained, including the PSU. The claim is a blade chassis is expensive, and until you get about six blades, it doesn’t pay for itself. This new form factor should be cheaper than rackmount with only two slots filled.
Tyan also brings up an interesting point that does not get mentioned often in the server realm, weight. Many data centers are not only power, cost and heat bound, but are increasingly becoming weight bound as well. Trust us, when the data center decides to go from the 34th floor to the 33rd with a loud crash late at night, the CEO will not be amused.
With that, Tyan tried to lighten up the YR servers, something we are told is especially important in the Japanese market. We hear that they have earthquakes there as well as in California, with associated building code restrictions. As a side benefit, lighter means less materials used, and it is cheaper to ship, so the customer wins twice.
That customer is the other big change, Tyan will no longer be selling to end users, they are going to the system integrator market exclusively now. This allows them to do a few interesting things, the most notable is a no questions asked pre-failure warranty called the Advanced Swap Program.
You call them up, and if you are a SI, they send you a new one, and you send the old one back after the swap minimizing down time. Companies do not do this unless they are pretty damn sure they have a high quality product, anything less means you are going to eat any profit in warranty costs.
For now, Tyan is selling YR servers through SIs in Japan, but we are told Eurpope will soon follow. No word on the US, but it can’t be far behind. It looks like Tyan is back on track after a slow start with Mitac.S|A