Rugged servers: Adaptability, portability, and instant data destruction

When you think about servers, the first thing that comes to mind is a sparkling-clean room in pristine condition: the data center. You’re not wrong. But as technology becomes more pervasive in any field, companies and governmental organizations need to deploy their solutions in far-from-pristine places outside the data center to be computing anywhere, anytime.

This is where rugged servers come in.

The Crystal Group FORCE™ (Fully Optimized Rugged Computer Equipment) servers line was designed specifically for corporations and government applications that require high-performance computing to withstand some of the roughest terrains and some of the toughest situations.  Recently, we have upgraded the FORCE units to the second-generation products called FG2 which now include a PCIe Gen 4 bus architecture. The new design approach allows for rapid customization with the same level of environmental performance.

How do FG2 servers help you confidently work flawlessly in unfriendly environments? Several ways.

Rugged servers with extra security

If you’ve ever seen Mission: Impossible, you know the line “This letter will self-destruct.” Did you know that, with the push of a button, so could your data?

The FG2 system of rugged servers, which comes in 1U, 2U and 3U offerings, provides a switch that accompanies an array of drive options—including the ability to, by hitting a button, instantly sanitize the drives and clear all data.

No doubt, that’s a huge draw for defense customers and other users handling sensitive data in their use of our proven, rugged servers. This is something our customers have asked for, and we’ve delivered: A capability to create a server that fits exact program needs without extensive customization and long lead-times.

Other vital cybersecurity features include rugged FIPS 140-2 SSDs, optional key management and intrusion detection.

The advanced security measures of these systems meet the mission-essential needs of a range of applications and markets, including defense, national security, intelligence operations and critical infrastructure.

Powerful but with a small footprint

Think that rugged servers are bulky and take up a lot of space? We don’t blame you! It used to be that way.

But we know that now more than ever, it’s crucial to maintain the smallest footprint possible while simultaneously maximizing compute power—without compromising on security or capability.

This is why the FG2 servers come in a lightweight chassis. The RS2608 Rugged 2U Server, for instance, has 19”, 22″ and 25″ depths. And yes, we were able to fit many features in this 2U package.

Real-time processing in rugged environments

The ability to execute real-time data processing also underpins the use of FG2 server systems in high-demand applications such as machine learning, sensor fusion, AI, unmanned systems operation, electronic warfare, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities.

By accessing these cutting-edge technologies in a rugged, rack-mount form factor, Crystal Group can effectively send users into virtually any environment with the capacity to execute operations that would have been inconceivable only a decade ago.

Functionality delivered anytime, anywhere

Functionality in highly dynamic and demanding environments is a hallmark feature of our products, and it’s a capability we’ve made central to our offerings, including the family of FG2 systems. In a threat landscape that only continues to expand in scope and risk, the ability to protect sensitive, mission-critical data is that much more important.

Crystal Group’s solutions deliver on that need for elite security, providing real-time data processing in support of threat monitoring, rapid response and broad situational while also protecting the IT components and their housing.

That’s an evolving requirement the Army, in particular, is highlighting as a pressing need.

“We’re focusing on command post survivability—so smart power, how we work in a distributed fashion, how we do data integrity, recovery and data resiliency, and communications,” Brig. Gen. Robert M. Collins, program executive officer for C3T, said at a recent Technical Exchange Meeting between senior Army leaders and members of the industry.

Next-level customization in rugged servers

We know there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to rugged servers. This is where the FG2 modularity comes into play.

Our custom rugged solutions offer the ability to tailor according to current needs today but easily reconfigure when those requirements change tomorrow.

The principle is quite simple: Whatever application requires rugged servers; we can customize them for you. We work from the ground up to find the solution that fits your needs best.

The FORCE servers currently work in more than 650 military programs and in countless industrial applications.

Beyond the DoD

Rugged servers were commonly associated with military operations. Even today, the army is the main user of rugged computing in general. But things are beginning to change as commercial and industrial uses become the norm.

For example, servers in factories must withstand varying temperatures and a lot of different types of dirt. IoT applications (such as those in infrastructure) need servers placed in the heat of the sun, in freezing rain and in below zero temperatures. Autonomous vehicles need high computing power packed into small, high-temperature spaces. Rugged servers can answer all those demands and more.

Tell us about your application and one of our experts will help find your optimal solution.