Almost everything on board a superyacht that owners and guests will interact with is either bespoke or a custom item, designed explicitly to suit particular wants and needs.
This fact extends far beyond normal everyday items to the technical configuration of the entire vessel. While superyachts often adopt the latest and greatest in technology, customisation plays a crucial role in the process.
Serving extravagant needs
As far as servers go, those installed in a superyacht must be able to accommodate whatever the guests and owners may throw at them. Eliminating or, at the very least, reducing any associated issues takes priority.
In addition to that, a server must be able to work well under the sometimes challenging circumstances of the high seas. Even though money is rarely an issue, some problems require technical expertise and skills rather than more cash.
For instance, a server on a luxury home has the benefit of a stable internet connection. Setting up a server in that situation means that a user can adjust the network needs to suit their own purpose simply by upgrading to a better system, regardless of the cost.
In a superyacht, however, a server must be able to do a lot of things simultaneously without incurring too heavy a load. Should performance issues arise, it may not be as easy to fix them as it would be on land and disrupting the guest experience is unacceptable in this industry.
What the best servers can provide
Though challenges may arise when installing a server on a superyacht, there are plenty of choices for a powerful and stable server that can service owners and guests.
As mentioned before, one of the most important aspects to consider here is the opportunity to customise. In theory, there are plenty of great servers which can be purchased and installed aboard a superyacht with little intervention.
Such servers are powerful enough that they can perform to a high standard but they have one major flaw; they are not designed specifically for a superyacht application.
The world’s most powerful servers will not be good enough for a superyacht’s owner if they cannot provide them with exactly what they are looking for. This is especially true in cases where multiple streams are required.
HP, Dell, Lenovo, and many others produce some fantastic products with powerful specifications, decent storage, and affordable prices. However, they either have to be heavily adjusted to fit a superyacht’s needs, or they have to operate with occasional hiccups.
Custom servers offer an alternative
The answer to such issues is building a custom server from scratch. This will allow the technician to customise a build that will fit exactly to whatever needs a superyacht might have as well as anticipate future issues and challenges.
After establishing what the network can actually handle, the attention should turn to the hardware. In superyachts, it is not unusual for owners and guests to view high-definition videos across multiple devices at the same time.
As such, a powerful server is absolutely necessary. A powerful processor or a combination of them (such as dual Intel Xeons) is a good place to start. Following that, at least 64GB of RAM is necessary for on-the-go streaming and encoding.
Storage is also something that must be considered carefully. With SSDs being more powerful and reliable than ever, an array of SSDs is the obvious choice here, particularly ones which are designed for enterprise use.
For content storage, Network Attached Storage (NAS) drives are fantastic choices. For instance, iXsystems and their TrueNAS arrays are an incredible solution for both performance and security.
Companies like iXsystems, ABMX, Broadberry, and more can be contacted directly for specialised equipment too. That way, they can provide custom servers that will respond to the detailed specifications of the ETO and the specific needs of the superyacht.
Consumer NAS drives are not solid choices here because they simply cannot perform to that standard. An important thing to consider here is that several companies who are famous for their home products also make great enterprise-level hardware.
A prime example of that is Synology as their top-level DiskStations can easily handle the kind of performance required by superyachts.
Are custom servers worth the trouble?
Custom servers are absolutely worth the trouble. An experienced technician will be able to create a custom server that will work with hardly any issues, something which a superyacht owner will definitely appreciate regardless of the cost.
While ready-made solutions can perform adequately, the superyacht experience requires something more. It requires a server that will be able to handle 10 Blu-ray movies being streamed at the same time. It needs a server that will not lag, buffer, or disrupt the viewing experience in any way.