Ultra-small, rugged chassis houses 4-in-1: 6 Secure Virtual Machines, 18 port switch, RAID storage and Aux. Power Unit

• Six hardware-independent Secure Virtual Machines (SVMs) • 18 1-Gbit intelligent Ethernet ports with MIL locking connectors • Removable RAID storage and Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) • Intel(r) Xeon(tm) Ivy Bridge-EP CPU with 10 cores (2.4 GHz each) • Tamper-proof TPM security and ability to 'zero-ize' data • Ultra-SWaP (11.75"x7.75"x4.5" @ 18 lbs. and as low as 180 watts)

Tarantula showing the RAID and APU Cannisters
Tarantula showing the RAID and APU Cannisters
Tarantula showing the 18 Ethernet ports and I/O Connections
Tarantula showing the 18 Ethernet ports and I/O Connections

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CALIF. -- General Micro Systems, Inc. (GMS), designer and manufacturer of embedded computing products for defense, aerospace and compute-intensive applications, and the leader in high-end Intel® processors since 1986, has introduced the industry’s first conduction-cooled, fully ruggedized, Secure Virtual Machine (SVM) server with six hardware independent I/O modules. Designed to replace multiple workstations using virtual machine technology, Tarantula (SO302 4-in-1) incorporates an enterprise-level Layer 2 or Layer 3 intelligent switch for high-speed connectivity.

Consisting of a host CPU module and 18-port intelligent Gigabit Ethernet switch module, both housed in one low-profile, lightweight package (smaller than a shoe box), Tarantula is perfect


for applications requiring ultra-efficient information sharing between several computers serving varied purposes. In one small assembly, the server optimizes processing performance of each SVM, speeds data in and out of the box, supports the widest array of I/O devices and has ability to overlay live video between different applications.

Intel’s most powerful Xeon processor, the Ivy-Bridge-EP®, is the host CPU driver and features 10 physical cores each operating up to 2.4 GHz, with the ability to TurboBoost to 3.0 GHz. Support for hyperthreading expands its capability to 20 logical cores. Tarantula dynamically allocates these cores in real-time as needed by each of up to six virtual machines and their individual application requirements. The host CPU supports one 4-lane PCIe XMC site, one 10 Gigabit Ethernet port, four USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports with power, two serial ports with RS-232/422/485 buffers, full HD-Audio, and eight general purpose I/O lines.

Tarantula’s intelligent Gigabit Ethernet switch functions are powered by a 416 MHz MIPS CPU (with 128 Mbytes of DRAM) that controls the (up to) 18 Gigabit Ethernet ports and a second 10 Gigabit Ethernet port, which comes with the option of copper or fiber. The system supports fully managed Layer 2 and Layer 3 functions such as VLAN and QoS processing, enabling the delivery of differentiated services and security through intelligent frame processing and egress frame manipulation.

“The ability to consolidate many computers performing different functions and its multi-port intelligent switch make Tarantula perfect for the military,” says Ben Sharfi, CEO of GMS. “For example, after purchasing more than 10,000 GMS systems for its WIN-T program, the U.S. Army selected Tarantula for the MRAP Night Vision program, because the six virtual machines can control real-time video, defensive counter measures and other critical operations – all in one small chassis. Plus, the system is CHS listed so procurement personnel have access to it without going through the normal arduous justifications.”

The CPU is loaded with up to 128 GBytes of RAM organized into four banks of dual DDR-3 DIMM arrays with Error Correcting Code (ECC). The ECC RAM provides two-bit error detection and one bit of correction while supporting up to 1866 Mega Transfers/Second (MTS) between CPU and memory. The 256-bit word length (four DIMMS by 64 bits) is just one of the design features that enables a peak memory transfer rate of 60 GBytes per second – a rate currently unmatched by any other military embedded system.


In addition to many standard and unique host system I/O features like USB 3.0, serial ports and XMC site, Tarantula incorporates one storage RAID controller and one Auxiliary Power Unit (APU), each housed in a removable canister for quick replacement. The storage unit secures up to eight 2-TByte SATA SSD drives (16-TBytes total) in one canister for easy removal and quick transfer of critical data. The APU, which is an array of super caps (NOT batteries), can provide power per MIL-STD-704 blackout requirements, to allow shutdown if the host system power is lost. For systems not requiring an APU, a second 16-TByte SATA SSD canister can be substituted, providing 32-TBytes of storage. In applications not requiring any removable storage, a second APU canister can be added, doubling the holdup time.

Each of Tarantula’s six SVMIO sites is fully independent, configured as “Share Nothing Architecture,” and each is connected to the host CPU via PCI-Express lanes only. That means all I/O transactions are fully monitored, with all access being authorized by the host CPU, utilizing a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) and Trusted Execution Technology (TXT). Tarantula is further secured by a tamper-proof function that recognizes unfamiliar access of software, boot or BIOS, and locks the system, only allowing restart with a controlled reauthorization process. It also allows an authorized user to “zero-ize” the system, placing all data and programs at zero.

An AES 256 hardware encryption option provides security even if one of the drives becomes compromised. The system itself – along with the removable canisters – remain enclosed by hermetically sealed connectors making changes in the field as safe as in the lab.

GMS RuggedCool Technology™, which provides low thermal resistance to the enclosure and the highest shock specifications in the industry, makes Tarantula the only server that operates from -40°C to +85°C at full load without overwhelming the CPU. Tarantula is compliant to MIL-STD 810-G, MIL-STD 1275D, MIL-STD 461E, MIL-S 901D, DO-160D and IP66. It is available in quantity starting at $28,000 and will ship 18 weeks ARO. GMS can optionally install operating or application system software if requested


Reader Service Contact: Jonathan Malaney 772-266-4015, jmalaney@gmseast.com

General Micro Systems, 3601 SE Ocean Blvd, Ste 002, Stuart, FL 34996 USA Tel: 1-772-266-4015; Fax: 772-266-4016

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