CriKit II – Private or Hybrid Cloud


The intersection of Moore’s Law and Cloud software continues to advance and the result is a more compact, powerful and very green new version of a Desktop Private Cloud solution.



Called “CriKit” for Cloud Resource and Infrastructure Kit, it includes compute nodes and storage that allows developers, testers and trainers to ply their trades with cloud and clustered big data technologies right on their desk instead of using data center resources. And, yes, it can even run an Elasticsearch ELK cluster !! Further, with CriKit and Hybrid Cloud configurations, organizations can accomplish some amount of local computing and integrate with Public Clouds global infrastructure on the “back end”. Since Crikit is merely a commodity hardware computing platform, it can run a wide variety of cloud software solutions, like CloudStack, OpenStack, Eucalyptus, etc. For example, CriKit II can spin up 45 “small” virtual machines out of the box without any additional configuration. With hypervisor modification, CriKit II is capable of providing over 100 small virtual machines across the minimal 4 node configuration. Plus, CriKit is easily expandable with more nodes and storage to increase the capacity even further and the financial “step function” of adding compute nodes is minimal compared to other cloud computing solution platforms. Need capacity for more virtual machines? Just add an inexpensive CriKit MicroServer and run more virtual machines! The implications of the overall value proposition of CriKit II are highly compelling. Organizations can now significantly reduce the size and costs of on-site computing, while integrating with global public cloud infrastructure. From a desk. For an Example of what CriKit can do with Nimbula, check out this video of a CriKit Desktop Private Cloud running 32 virtual machines using Nimbula Director. Keep in mind that the entire solution is compact and extremely low wattage – The green implications of this new CriKit II solution are considerable. Each compute node draws around 60 watts of electricity, yet can run multiple instances of virtual machines per compute node. In the base, 4 node configuration there could be one Cloud Control Node and 3 Virtual Machine nodes. If you run 10 virtual machine instances per node, that is only 6 watts per server operating system, which is simply astounding ! Further, if the CriKit system is used in a more granular fashion, meaning managed resource pooling of CPU, Memory and Storage to achieve high virtual machine density, then the amount of electricity per Virtual Machine could be significantly less than 6 Watts per OS. And it all happens right on your desk ! What would you do with a mini cloud datacenter on your desk? There are many interesting ways CriKit MicroServers can be used and powered. Few people realize that an entire 4 node CriKit Cluster can be powered by just a few Solar Panels and it can be connected wirelessly via satellite to a public cloud computing environment if desired. This provides a mini-data center that is entirely portable and usable in a wide variety of situations. One example is pointed out in this article about using technology to combat Ebola For More Info, Click HERE To talk to someone about CriKit, call US Micro PC at 1-800-874-5505


CriKit II – Microserver Cloud On Your Desk


“CriKit” stands for Cloud Resource and Infrastructure Kit. CriKit is a compact, energy efficient, low-cost, four-node cloud computing environment that literally fits on the top of your desk. It has all the hardware you need to set up multi-node big data clusters and private cloud computing environments.

CriKit is intended to be used by a wide variety of roles, including software development, software test and QA, plus training, demonstration and educational applications. Because it employs generic Intel x86 computing platforms that run all major hypervisors and operating systems, it can be used across industries on a wide variety of applications, including general purpose, financial and scientific uses.

CriKit has been designed to meet the requirements of an active cloud system user. It is configurable and expandable, but the base model contains the following items:

Computing Nodes
The base CriKit II contains 4 energy-efficient compute nodes that include a mini-itx true Server Motherboard, a low-wattage Intel Xeon Server CPU, 16 GB of RAM, Dual 1 Gb Ethernet Network Interface Controllers ( NIC’s) and up to 2 , 4 TB SSD’s in each node. The CPU, RAM and SSD can be modified on request and additional compute nodes can be added as needed. Each Compute Node also provides an IPMI LAN port for external system management.


External/Secondary Storage
CriKit comes with an optional NAS system that provides NFS and CIFS capabilities to meet the persistent storage needs of virtualization and cloud computing environments. Since most organizations have their own network storage environments today, CriKit II can intergrate with those environments or the Cloud Controller Node can be configured with 2.5 inch disk drives with up to 8 TB of SSD’s to provide storage to get started.


1 Gb Ethernet Switch
CriKit comes standard with an 16 Port, unmanaged, 1 Gb Ethernet switch. Managed switches, and switches with more ports for larger CriKit II implementations are available.


Management/Development Workstation
CriKit II has an optional high-powered workstation to manage the cloud environment and provide high developer productivity. Included in the workstation are:

1. Intel Core i5 processor
2. 8 GB of RAM
3. Disk type and size of your choice including SSD, Hybrid, or  Spinning disk or any combination of two, 2.5 inch disks
4. 1 Gb Ethernet NIC
5. 19” LED Monitor
6. Keytronic Keyboard
7. Microsoft optical mouse

Because CriKit components are modular, the system is expandable and upgradeable in a variety of ways. We can build a low end, inexpensive 4 node CriKit II package with i3 processors with minimal memory and small spinning disks for a POC all the way up to high-end, low-wattage Xeon E3 Series CPUs, 16 GB of ECC RAM and blazing high capacity SSD’s to put CriKit II through its paces.

Contact US Micro to see if CriKit can help you with any of your cloud development, testing, demonstration and educational needs.

Intel Recipes

Intel Corporation has recently announced a series of software configurations for the mini-itx Server Motherboard that is used in the CriKit MicroServer compute engines. The list is quite extensive and gives CriKit a much higher level of credibility by officially creating a wide variety of endorsed software solutions. The entire list of Intel Software Solution Recipes on the CriKit Motherboard, can be found here ->