NewsMore Information on the Tranquil PC Riley Servers

More Information on the Tranquil PC Riley Servers


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We have been speaking to Tranquil about their forthcoming Riley servers and have some information to share.


What is the Riley Server?

Be seen, not heard

The Riley Server is a new concept in Home and Small Business Server products.  Named after a recently deceased influential engineer, well known to Tranquil PC, whose goals were to design and manufacture products with excellence at their core, and maximise benefits to the user.  It’s with great honour that our new servers carry his name.

With the now fully functional high precision, high speed CNC milling facilities within our factory in Manchester, the dream of creating exceptionally beautiful devices, from single billets of aluminium is a reality.  The strap line ‘be seen, not heard’ has never been so appropriate.

Both the processor and storage units are completely fan less, and even the storage unit with four 3.5″ HDDs is almost silent!  Designed to go anywhere the Riley units are especially suited for living space or small office spaces.  They are beautiful and silent

Riley is designed as a component based unit – you choose the processor type you want for the application, and then you choose the additional mass storage unit(s) to deliver the capacity you need.

Below we have listed a few FAQs, which you may find interesting and helpful:

How quiet is the processor and the storage box?

The processor unit provides 2x 2.5″ HDD bays – SSHDDs would render the unit entirely silent, if fitted with 2.5″ HDDs the unit is all but silent, approx. 4dBA – you would have to put your ear to the case to ‘feel’ the noise.

The storage unit is a thick aluminium cabinet, and the four 3.5″ hard disks are buried deep within it.  This ensures that not only do the disks run cool, even under prolonged data transfers, but they are almost silent too.  In a very quiet room you may hear the HDDs within 1M – the actual sound is approx. 6dBA.

What is the size of these units?

The processor unit measures: 395(w) x 225 (d) x 50(h) mm

The storage unit measures: 395(w) x 225 (d) x 35(h) mm

(The heights do not include the feet, please add 5mm)

Why 2x HDDs in the processor?

The decision to provide 2x HDD bays in the processor is to ensure that the overall system OS, applications and data are near bullet proof.

It is recommended that the 1st HDD in the processor is used to host the OS – and therefore should be > 80GB.  The 2nd HDD should be used as the WHS2011 or Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials ‘backup’ drive – protecting the whole of the 1st drive.

System recovery, from physical HDD failure or OS / application error, how?

Using the above twin HDD policy in the processor, both the physical drives and the OS / applications are protected.  In the event of 1st HDD physical failure, the drive can be replaced and the system recovered to the latest backup, from the backup HDD.  If there is a critical OS or application problem (i.e. system refuses to start, or a service is failing), the processor can be restored back to a previous known working state.  Recovery tools and the recovery DVD is provided with the Riley Server.

Why the modular approach?

This is a very good question.  Offering multiple processor platforms, from Intel dual core Atom to Intel 2nd Generation Core processors (i3 and i5) means that the chassis design is marginally different.  Also the modular approach also ensures that the main storage devices are thermally isolated from the CPU in the processor unit.

Can I add my own HDDs?

Yes.  We don’t feel it’s right to only bundle HDDs with our servers..  The choice to fit your own HDDs in the processor unit and the storage unit ensures that you can build the Riley Server to your own requirements.  Both the processor and the storage units support 5400 and 7200RPM HDDs.  We also recommend low energy, low noise HDDs to further enhance your server.  We do not recommend 10K or 15K RPM drives.

How fast is the data transfer from the processor to the storage unit?

Very fast. In tests the transfer speeds between the processor unit and the storage unit are – 136MB/s read and 92MB/s write.  A typical GBE LAN connection on a network provides a maximum of  100MB/s data throughput (1000/8 less overhead), often much less.  In summary the Riley Server delivers exceptional data throughout, in the real world.

How does the processor connect to the storage unit?

Via a single eSATA cable

How is the data protected?

The storage units come pre-set to RAID-5, this gives maximum storage capacity along with data protection.  To ensure optimal capacity and protection, you must fit all HDDs in the unit, before initial power-up.  It is possible to change the RAID mode 0,1,5,10 via the switch on the rear of the unit, but this must be done prior to fitting the HDDs.  Once the RAID mode is set and the array is built, it is not possible to add additional drives, without re-setting and re-building the RAID array

Can I add more than one storage unit?
Yes.  Depending on the processor unit purchased, you can add one or more expansion units.  If you choose to add additional units, you can then use the software storage manager to combine the expansion units into a single shared pool, or you can use the additional capacity for new shares.

Where should the units be located?

Unlike almost all other storage units, that may be ‘cube like’ with fans fitted, and flashing lights on the front, the Riley Server units are low profile, minimalist units – they are near silent – have no distracting flashing lights on the front – are beautiful, even compared to very high end HiFi appliances.  They will not look out of place anywhere in the home / small office.

However, as they do generate heat, and as such they should be located in free flowing air space and not locked away in small, sealed cabinets.

3 years is a long warranty – why?

Due to the precision nature of the design and thermal properties, the Riley Servers are supplied with a 3 year RTB warranty.  The units must be registered within 28 days of delivery to gain this 3 year warranty – otherwise the warranty reverts to the standard 12 months.  Please note that internal batteries and external power supplies only carry a 12 month warranty.

Andrew Edney
Andrew Edney
I am the owner and editor of this site. I have been interested in gadgets and tech since I was a little kid. I have also written a number of books on various tech subjects. I also blog for The Huffington Post and for FHM. And I am honoured to be a Microsoft MVP since January 2008 - again this year as an Xbox MVP.


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