From Business to Mission Critical: An Overview of Fujitsu Servers

    “No wonder he covered himself.” It says: "Made in Japan"
    - What are you talking about, Doc? All the best gizmos are made in Japan.
    - Incredible ...
    “Back to the Future” movie




    No less emotionally than the presidency of film actor Ronald Reagan in the “distant” 1985, Dr. Emmett Lathrop von Braun from 1955 was struck by the remark of the “boy from the future” Marty McFly who arrived from 1985 that the best electronics in the “distant future” made in Japan. The fact is that before the “economic miracle” of the 70s of the last century, goods manufactured in Japan had a reputation of low quality due to the industry and state economy destroyed during the Second World War. By the way, in the post-war period a similar brand of “low-quality junk” was worn by goods manufactured in Germany for exactly the same reasons. And the "engineer Kaiser" still had to put an end to this negligence and re-go the way to the coined phrase "German quality", which the Germans successfully did.

    Presented in the film by R. Zemeckis "Back to the Future-2" the world of 2015, of course, differs from what we see now outside the window. There were more cars, but they did not take off, but got stuck in traffic jams. Skateboards are still on wheels, although Lexus is trying to “suspend” the board using liquid nitrogen. But, probably, if you transfer from our 2015th year to the slightly tuned DeLorean DMC-12, like Marty McFly, 30 years ago, in his native 1985, and show him the broken iPhone 6, Marty speaks out similarly to Doc: “No wonder that he covered himself. It says: “Made in China.”

    The prevailing globalization over the past 30 years and the struggle of manufacturers to reduce production and logistics costs have taught us that far from the cheapest goods under respectable brands are produced and assembled in countries whose attitude to production capabilities was once in the masses, let us say skeptical. For example, telecommunication and server equipment, as a rule, is manufactured and assembled in Taiwan, China, India, Mexico, Ireland, Poland, Bulgaria, and the Czech Republic. But despite the dominance of globalization and the dictates of cost reduction, manufacturers still remain in our world whose products are written with special and capacious words for the older generation. In this article we will talk about Fujitsu servers, on board of which the proud stamp of the "old school" flaunts:

    Separately, we note that due to the geopolitical factor, American manufacturers of IT equipment stopped selling products to a number of state organizations and companies with state participation, and more recently, to some private companies. The general public knows that Chinese manufacturers were very enthusiastic about these circumstances and wish them to live as long as possible. But it will not be out of place to know that both under Japanese jurisdiction and, which is much more important in this case, relying on the strong national support and domestic demand of the Japanese market, Fujitsu Limited treats the Russian so-called “sanctioned” customers quite loyally.

    Fujitsu and x86 architecture


    The Japanese company Fujitsu has been producing standard architecture (x86) servers for 20 years. Perhaps we can say that the fact of Fujitsu's unconditional superiority in the national server market is not the most convincing in view of the prevailing ideas about the specifics and mentality of the Japanese with a focus on the products of national manufacturers, but still this is the first place in the third largest (in terms of GDP) world economy after the USA and China. In the global market, the company takes 4th place. In other words, Fujitsu is far from a newcomer to the server solutions market and has extensive experience.

    The portfolio of server solutions Fujitsu standard architecture (x86) consists of two lines: PRIMERGY and PRIMEQUEST. The PRIMERGY line includes standard rack and tower (floor) servers, as well as Blade servers and CX series servers for high performance computing (HPC) and horizontal scaling. The PRIMEQUEST server family is focused on high-performance devices based on Intel Xeon E7 with enhanced component reliability and fault tolerance of hardware solutions.

    PRIMERGY servers are manufactured at the Fujitsu factory in Augsburg, Germany, while PRIMEQUEST servers are assembled in Japan, although the possibility of expanding the factory in Bavarian Augsburg and launching an additional PRIMEQUEST assembly line on it is being considered. Touching upon the topic of production, it is worth noting that Fujitsu declares the availability of components to its products for an average of five years from the date of official removal of the model from sale, this is the standard policy of the manufacturer. At the same time, the customer has the opportunity to use the special contract to extend the availability of spare parts that will be reserved for the customer. A similar option can be an alternative for those who, for certain reasons (type of tasks solved by the server, server location,

    Objectively comparing the servers of different manufacturers in terms of price / performance, especially in Russia, is a rather difficult task, in the Russian Federation this is complicated by the pricing system and sales model used by manufacturers, even the currency selling price for a product may differ depending on the project conditions. Everyone who has had to deal with a marketing presentation of equipment of manufacturers more than once knows that all manufacturers “have a sleeve” of a report or review from a profile organization that shows leadership in certain parameters of products manufactured by the manufacturer against direct competitors. As mentioned above, Fujitsu is not the first day on the market and, accordingly, has such positive reports for itself - for example, from a company registered in 1988. non-profit organization Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC), specializing in evaluating the performance of computing systems in the processing of transactions and working with databases. Test reportTPC-E is available here , we reserve your assessment of the credibility of the material.

    Fujitsu PRIMERGY Servers


    In the lineup, as mentioned above, there are rack and tower servers. The model article should be read as follows: the letter R, T or B indicates the server form factor, respectively, rack-mount (R - rack), tower (T - tower) or blade server (B - blade). Next comes a small (temporary) confusion. The articles of the previous generation Fujitsu PRIMERGY servers consisted of a three-digit digital number and the letter “S” at the end. The current generation has a four-digit digital number in the article and “M1” at the end. The three-digit article number of the servers of the previous generation today can only tell the user that this is the previous generation and the server is morally outdated, while in the new generation the manufacturer has made the articles more informative. The first digit of the number indicates the possible number of processors (socket) in the server. The second digit is the series number of the used Intel Xeon processors, i.e. E3, E5, E7 (respectively, "3", "5", "7"). For example: RX4770 M1 - rack server with four Intel Xeon E7 sockets, TX2540 M1 - tower server with two Intel Xeon E5 sockets. In our opinion, the manufacturer proposed a rather convenient model for marking devices, which allows you to “read” part of the main characteristics of the server by article and sometimes avoid extremely annoying (and expensive) errors without going into the specification.

    A number of PRIMERGY server models (mostly older models), in their series, support the technologies of the developer and manufacturer of network solutions from Emulex Corporation, including Emulex Universal Multi-Channel (UMC) technology, which allows creating several PCI functions on each network adapter. For example, each 10GbE port can be configured with 8 functions of a virtual network adapter. The user has the ability to configure the bandwidth of each channel and traffic separation, the entire system will work correctly with any 10GbE switch.

    As already noted, the Japanese manufacturer in the design of servers PRIMERGY paid great attention to the architecture and layout of the servers. Servers are not only energy-efficient (unfortunately, we often do not care much about this indicator of customers) and quiet (this indicator of interest is much more interesting), but they can also work 24/7 at temperatures up to 40 ° C.

    Fujitsu PRIMERGY RX Rack Servers

    Currently, the new generation PRIMERGY rack server group includes: single-server servers RX1330 M1 (with one Intel Xeon E3 processor) and RX2530 M1 (up to two processors). Two two-unit dual-processor models RX2520 M1 and RX2540 M1, two four-unit models RX2560 M1 and RX4770 M1 (with the ability to install up to 4 processors). Also, servers from the previous generation are currently available to order: a two-unit dual-processor RX300 S8 and a four-unit dual-processor RX350 S8.


    Fujitsu PRIMERGY RX2520 M1

    The difference between the servers is standard: the number of processors to be installed and the power consumed by them, the number of slots and the maximum amount of RAM, disks, the number of installed PCIe cards, etc.

    In addition to the two younger models - RX1330 M1 and RX2520 M1 - all Fujitsu PRIMERGY rack servers, including the single-unit RX2530 M1, support expandable memory up to 1536 GB or more (on 4U models). The servers use only large (LFF, 3.5``) and small (SFF, 2.5``) drives, the manufacturer uses 1.8 '' drives only in blade servers. Some models of Fujitsu PRIMERGY rack servers have the ability to install PCIe-SSD disks, which are becoming more common for solving tasks that require fast SSD disks for caching (for example, in the implementation of the so-called Software Defined solutions).

    In its servers (older models) Fujitsu offers an option that is not often seen with other manufacturers - the ability to install internal DOM drives (Disk on Module) with SATA 3G interface in the SATA connector directly on the motherboard. Fairly inexpensive and energy-efficient drives, with reliability significantly higher than that of a traditional USB flash drive or SD-cards. Such drives are designed primarily to perform the functions of a boot disk and are an alternative solution in the common scheme with SD cards (single or duplicated).

    Older models also support DynamicLoM technology. This solution, which essentially places a network adapter with a speed of up to 40 Gbps on board the server system board in advance, the user chooses the output to the outside based on his needs. That is, you can use a 1 Gbps output and modify it to 10 or 40 Gbps (in the near future), depending on your needs.

    Fujitsu PRIMERGY TX

    tower servers The PRIMERGY tower server group consists of three single-processor servers TX1310 M1, TX1320 M1, TX1330 M1 and two dual-processor servers TX2540 M1, TX2560 M1. From the previous generation, the single-processor TX150 S8 and the dual-processor TX300 S8 are still available to order.


    Fujitsu PRIMERGY TX2560 M1

    Fujitsu TX tower servers, depending on the model, can work with 1 or 2 Intel Xeon E3 and E5 processors. The drives are large (LFF, 3.5``) and small (SFF, 2.5 '') form factors. All servers (except the TX2560 M1, which has DynamicLoM Emulex XE100) have 2 1Gb Ethernet ports and can be installed in a rack.

    A very important factor for floor-mounted servers, which are usually located in the area where office personnel work, is their noiselessness. Fujitsu PRIMERGY TX servers are very quiet and were designed with great attention to the noise factor. If we talk about numbers, then in the TX13 series the server noise is 23 dB (A) in standby mode and 24 dB (A) in operating mode, they are perfect for bookkeeping or operator premises. Reliability of iron on PRIMERGY servers is 99.997% (i.e., a simple server is on average 16 minutes per year).

    TX25 series servers are more powerful dual-processor machines. The junior model, the TX2540 M1, can have up to 192 GB of DDR4 memory. The older model, the TX2560 M1, uses Intel Xeon E5 v3 processors and can have up to 1536 GB of DDR4 memory. These two servers can be used for initial databases or tasks related to virtualization. With the growth of the organization and the emergence of separate rooms, server equipment using rails can be installed in a rack.

    Fujitsu PRIMERGY BX Blade Servers

    Fujitsu currently offers two chassis in the server blade form factor: Fujitsu PRIMERGY BX400 S1 and Fujitsu PRIMERGY BX900 S2. The BX400 S1 is a compact 6U 8-bay server blade that can be populated with compute modules, data storage modules, and network components. The chassis of the BX400 S1 can be either rack-mount or floor-mounted, on wheels.

    This solution has something in common with a fairly popular similar solution Dell VRTX. Fujitsu's primary offering of server blade form factor is the PRIMERGY BX900 S2. This is a 10U high-density chassis with 18 compartments (18 half or 9 full-sized). The achieved indicator of compartment density is currently the first of the solutions available on the market, conditionally inferior in terms of the density of direct assembly of nodes to only the IBM-Lenovo Flex System x222 solution, which, having 14 compartments, allows you to install the original layout module in 2 compartments with 2 independent servers, resulting in a nominally 28 nodes.

    Fujitsu PRIMERGY BX400 S1

    Three types of computing servers (blades) are currently available for order: one from the previous generation - the BX920 S4, and two from the new generation - the BX2560 M1 and BX2580 M1. All blades have two disk compartments and the ability to install up to two processors.

    The latest generation blades run on Intel Xeon E5 v3 processors and with DDR4 memory. In the case of the BX2580 M1, up to 1536 GB of RAM can be installed on a node; this model also provides the SATA DOM option, which was described above in the section PRIMERGY rack servers. The BX2580 M1 is a good option for virtualization solutions. Traditionally, much attention has been paid to the fault tolerance of the entire chassis: power supplies, fans, input-output boards (up to 8 pieces) are duplicated.

    Fujitsu PRIMERGY BX2560 M1

    Modular Servers Fujitsu PRIMERGY CX

    The Fujitsu PRIMERGY CX series are special solutions for building high-density horizontal solutions in the form of cluster (or cloud) platforms. The main applications of the CX series of servers are in the field of cloud computing, High Performance Computing (HPC), deployment of virtualization solutions (for example, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, VDI). The series is represented by two 2U platforms: CX400 M1 and CX420 S1. The CX400 M1 platform accommodates up to 4 high-performance (dual-processor) nodes and 64 DDR4 memory slots. CX420 S1 is a solution with an optimized cost price, a ready-made cluster with two server dual-processor nodes and the ability to install up to 12 shared storage drives, shared power and cooling.


    Fujitsu PRIMERGY CX400 M1

    If we talk about the more productive model PRIMERGY CX400 M1, then you can install either 4 dual-processor 1U CX2550 M1 blades in it (and get 8 E5-2600 v3 processors up to 18 cores, 144 cores per chassis), or 2 dual-processor 2U blades CX2570 M1 with the ability to install up to two full-sized PCI cards. For example, NVIDIA GPGPU accelerators or NVIDIA Tesla or Intel Xeon Phi coprocessor boards.

    The second model of the CX series - PRIMERGY CX420 S1 - a ready-made cluster, CiB solution (Cluster in a Box). A platform with two 2U server nodes CX272 S1 (2 processors and 2 2.5 ”internal drives in each) with 12 bays on the platform itself for 2.5” drives, used as a common storage for both nodes. Such a solution will cost the customer about 20% cheaper than accumulating similar capacities and storage resources using other Fujitsu products - PRIMERGY RX rack servers and ETERNUS DX storage systems, while the rack space will be 2 times less.

    Fujitsu mainframe development history


    Before moving on to the Fujitsu PRIMEQUEST product line, we will dilute the technical text with a short historical background on the topic. For those for whom such information is not interesting, we recommend that you skip this section and proceed to the next.

    Fail-safe server solutions for mission-critical tasks (the so-called Mission Critical) Fujitsu has been releasing for quite some time. The manufacturer has been counting since 1956, since the release of then Fuji Tsushinki Manufacturing Corporation, the first Japanese computer FACOM 128A, installed at the Institute of Statistical Mathematics of the Ministry of Education. In 1974, the private company Fujitsu and several others received state money under a grant from the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Industry (it was this ministry that took an active part in implementing the program for the transition of national industry from “energy-intensive” to “knowledge-intensive”, which fell on the international oil crisis of 1973 ) and announces work on the first M-190 mainframe - the flagship of the M-100 series.



    Fujitsu FACOM M-190

    A little detective story with oriental notes. Dr. Gene Amdahl, a computer architecture guru and author of the eponymous law (Amdal-Ware's Law, used to determine the maximum possible increase in the performance of the entire system while increasing the performance of only part of the system), worked at IBM in the 60s of the last century and was the main architect of System mainframes / 360 (whose evolution is presented on the market today under the name IBM zEnterprise System). In 1965, Dr. Amdahl was awarded the title of IBM Fellow, annually awarded personally by the CEO of the corporation to four to nine employees and is the highest recognition of the merits of a scientist, engineer or programmer at IBM. And already in 1970, Dr. Amdal, as the version says, due to the refusal of IBM to accept his ideas about the development of computers, leaves the company and together with Fujitsu (with participation in the capital, i.e. “For money”) founded Amdahl Corporation. Thus, before receiving a state grant and the announcement of work on the M-190 in 1974, Fujitsu had been collaborating (and financing) the former chief architect of IBM mainframes for 4 years. In the same 1975, when the FACOM M-190 made a splash at an exhibition in Japan, the title corporation Gene Amdala presents the Amdahl 470V / 6 mainframe, very reminiscent of its colleague from the Japanese co-founder of Amdahl Corporation.

    The marketing position of Amdahl 470V / 6 was serious: the mainframe turned out to be cheaper and more productive than its competitor System / 360 from IBM, and even from Dr. Gene Amdal himself. The first two mainframes left as much as NASA and the University of Michigan, making this fact an information explosion on both sides of the Pacific Ocean. To better understand the sensationalism of the event, we recommend recalling the epigraph to the article. Dr. Amdal himself left the company of the same name in 1979 to open a new startup, having managed to attract substantial investments under his name. Since the sale of the first Amdahl 470V / 6 and over the next quarter century, Amdahl Corporation (and Fujitsu’s underlying capital) has been IBM’s only competitor in the US mainframe market, reaching a 24% share. This was facilitated by the litigation between IBM and the US Department of Justice under the Antitrust Act (an analogue of the Antitrust Act in other countries). One can only pay tribute to the strategic managers Fujitsu, responsible for entering the US market.

    In the mid-90s of the last century, Fujitsu began to develop solutions on SPARC64 processors of its own production (the processor was developed by HAL Computer Systems). A line of PRIMEPOWER servers on SPARC64 processors appears. In 2002, the Japanese manufacturer introduced the mainframe on the SPARC64 series processors - GS21 600. Fujitsu continues to produce solutions on SPARC processors, they are available for order (GS21, M-10 Series), but are not so widespread outside the island, although they are quite popular inside Japan . In 2005, Fujitsu launched the Mission-Critical range of fault-tolerant Fujitsu PRIMEQUEST servers based on the IA-64 microprocessor architecture. In collaboration with Fujitsu and using the servers of the manufacturer PRIMEQUEST based on IA-64 architecture, Fujitsu ETERNUS PRIMERGY and storage servers were developed, implemented and in early 2010 launched the arrowhead trading system on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Group (TSE). In the same year, the first PRIMEQUEST 1000 series on x86 architecture processors was announced, the current generation of which will be discussed later.

    Fujitsu PRIMEQUEST Servers

    As mentioned above, the servers of the Fujitsu PRIMEQUEST line are solutions designed for mission-critical tasks (Mission Critical). When developing this line, the Japanese manufacturer used his half-century experience and culture of creating mainframes and "heavy" solutions, in which a special place is given to reliability, fault tolerance, non-stop work. If for the Fujitsu PRIMERGY line the reliability index is 99.997% (which in itself is very decent for a standard x86 server), then for Fujitsu PRIMEQUEST the manufacturer declares this indicator as the cherished “five nines” - 99.999% (or 5.25 minutes of downtime per year) . Simply put, the fundamental difference between PRIMERGY servers on x86 architecture and PRIMEQUEST servers on x86 architecture is the increased reliability and fault tolerance of the latter, applying the approach of maximum duplication and the use of highly reliable components. The consequence of the priority of increased reliability of PRIMEQUEST servers is that PRIMEQUEST servers are powerful enough (the minimum number of supported processors is 4) and large-sized, with the ability to install up to 8 processors, a large number of disks, memory slots and expansion cards. This is logical, since it makes no sense to spend money on achieving the "five nines" of server reliability and apply mass duplication of elements on low-power machines. with the ability to install up to 8 processors, a large number of disks, memory slats and expansion cards. This is logical, since it makes no sense to spend money on achieving the "five nines" of server reliability and apply mass duplication of elements on low-power machines. with the ability to install up to 8 processors, a large number of disks, memory slats and expansion cards. This is logical, since it makes no sense to spend money on achieving the "five nines" of server reliability and apply mass duplication of elements on low-power machines.

    The current generation of PRIMEQUEST servers is made in the concept of a blade server, all solutions are executed in a 10U chassis with the ability to install up to 4 servers. Moreover, all installed servers can act as a single server, for example, with 8 processors. As befits servers for mission-critical tasks, PRIMEQUEST servers have the ability to divide resources into autonomous partitions (PAR) without using virtualization platforms using the hardware of the device itself. In addition, each of the 4 physical partitions (PPAR inserted into the server chassis) can be logically divided into several partitions up to 8 pieces (depending on the physical resources of the servers). Specialists working with servers (on other processor architectures) for mission-critical tasks are surely familiar with this functionality.

    Starting directly with the current available solutions in the Fujitsu PRIMEQUEST line, we will begin, as in the case of PRIMERGY, with the model numbers. Unfortunately, unlike PRIMERGY, the current form of the PRIMEQUEST article is not so informative (it is possible that the manufacturer will change it later on by analogy with PRIMERGY). The first digit of the article, “2”, means the series - two thousandth, this is the current, current, series of PRIMEQUEST servers. Further, the manufacturer divides the servers into two categories: one called “Business Critical” (simpler, more budgetary), the second - “Mission Critical” (more powerful, expensive and with the highest level of reliability). The servers of the “Business Critical” group have the letter “B” (from “Business”) in the article, the servers of the “Mission Critical” group have not the letter “M” in the article, as it is, but “E” (from “Enterprise”). The second digit in the article, after “2”, indicates the seniority of the model in the series, and the presence of a digit after the letter indicates the generation of the model if it is different from the first (in this case, the article ends with a letter). For example, the name Fujitsu PRIMEQUEST 2400E indicates that we have a server of the 2000 series, from the Mission Critical group with the maximum implementation of fault tolerance functions (letter "E"), the youngest in its subgroup (number 4 after 2), model in his first generation. Fujitsu PRIMEQUEST 2800B2 - two thousandth series, "Business critical", the oldest model in the group, in the second generation. that we have a server of the 2000th series, from the Mission Critical group with the maximum implementation of fault tolerance functions (letter "E"), the youngest in its subgroup (number 4 after 2), the model is in its first generation. Fujitsu PRIMEQUEST 2800B2 - two thousandth series, "Business critical", the oldest model in the group, in the second generation. that we have a server of the 2000th series, from the Mission Critical group with the maximum implementation of fault tolerance functions (letter "E"), the youngest in its subgroup (number 4 after 2), the model is in its first generation. Fujitsu PRIMEQUEST 2800B2 - two thousandth series, "Business critical", the oldest model in the group, in the second generation.


    Fujitsu PRIMEQUEST 2800B2

    As mentioned above, the differences between the Business Critical and Mission critical groups are in the mechanisms (their number and functionality) of RAS (reliability, availability and serviceability) for ensuring server availability. The standard x86 architecture server from the RAS options has, as a rule, redundancy for cooling and power systems, RAID protection, error-correcting code (ECC) functions and data correction on one device (Single Device Data Correction, SDDC, algorithm, using ECC to recognize and disable a failed DRAM device, remove it from the memory card and restore data to a healthy DRAM). PRIMEQUST servers of the Business Critical group have all of the listed functionality and, in addition, advanced RAS functions, such as: distribution of cache lines across different memory channels (has the names double-device data correction, DDDC, Chipkill, Advanced ECC, Extended ECC, Lockstep Memory), memory mirroring, diagnostics by the processor of hardware errors (Machine Check Architecture, MCA), isolation of the PCIe port upon detection of errors (PCIe Live Error Recovery, LRE). The servers of the Mission critical group (or Enterprise) have all of the above functionality of the previous groups, adding to this the following functions: dynamic reconfiguration (that is, the ability to add memory, processor, I / O on the fly), redundancy of the system board ( for instant switching to its resources when the board fails under load), Flexible I / O technology, redundancy of the server control panel. Extended ECC, Lockstep Memory), memory mirroring, processor diagnostics of hardware errors (Machine Check Architecture, MCA), isolation of a PCIe port when errors are detected (PCIe Live Error Recovery, LRE). The servers of the Mission critical group (or Enterprise) have all of the above functionality of the previous groups, adding to this the following functions: dynamic reconfiguration (that is, the ability to add memory, processor, I / O on the fly), redundancy of the system board ( for instant switching to its resources when the board fails under load), Flexible I / O technology, redundancy of the server control panel. Extended ECC, Lockstep Memory), memory mirroring, processor diagnostics of hardware errors (Machine Check Architecture, MCA), isolation of a PCIe port when errors are detected (PCIe Live Error Recovery, LRE). The servers of the Mission critical group (or Enterprise) have all of the above functionality of the previous groups, adding to this the following functions: dynamic reconfiguration (that is, the ability to add memory, processor, I / O on the fly), redundancy of the system board ( for instant switching to its resources when the board fails under load), Flexible I / O technology, redundancy of the server control panel.

    Like all products of this kind, PRIMEQUEST servers have the ability to dynamically adaptively add resources for different tasks and balance the load without stopping running applications. A classic example of demonstrating such functionality is the allocation of resources for accounting during business hours on the days of the quarterly reporting and the transfer of these resources on weekends to solve analytic tasks. Moreover, resources can be allocated both at the physical partition level (PPAR) in the form of four servers installed in the chassis, and at the level of extended partitions (eXtended Partition), that is, at the level of the processor core, memory bar, hard disk or I / O board. This functionality, as mentioned above, is available to PRIMEQUEST owners without the cost of virtualization. Despite,

    Fujitsu belongs to those "mastodons" who today continue to produce almost the entire range of IT equipment, such as copy machines, desktop and client computers, laptops, telecommunications equipment (mainly for transport networks), servers and storage systems.

    The material was prepared by a partner of Technology and Machines LLC . See the full article here .

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