Power requirement for Athlon-MP diskless nodes
Jim.Morton at aventis.com
Jim.Morton at aventis.com
Tue Jun 26 13:13:02 EDT 2001
I am not sure about the Athlon, but I will relate a bit of sad experience.
We built a 20 node cluster using HD computers in BoomBox 2U chassis.
Each node is 2 600Mhz PIII, 2x 20G IDE, CDrom and 512 - 1024 M ram.
We have lost 14 power supplies in the last year. The +5 Standby power
goes out and the power supply must be replaced.
Speaking with the folks at PC Power and Cooling, I have decided to over-buy
the power supplies - replacing 350W with 450W models so that the thing is
running at a lower percentage of max rated power to improve reliability.
bigger power supplies have bigger heatsinks as well as bigger transistors,
there really can be a margin of safety.
The nasty thing about power supply problems is that if they are marginal,
complete failures, they seem non-deterministic. There may be no set way
to make a system failure - it just randomly crashes.
I suppose something that I would want in my "dream" cluster chassis is a
connector rigged to the outside of the chassis to let me check power supply
voltages ( or the hardware on the mobo to let you read it ) I know some
have power-ok indicators, but do any comodity mobos have actual DVM
As long as we are on the subject of dream cluster hardware, here is what I
A rack with 20 2U "slots" each of which would take a hot-swappable box
dual processor node. Each box has its own power supply some externally
disk drives, an optional CDrom drive ( handy for loading 20 - 40 CD database
into an NFS connected oracle server ) and at least 100Mb ethernet - maybe
one port or optional PCI connected other interconnect technology (
although that makes
the slide-in hot-swap connectivity harder ) The Rack would have built in
switching, network switch etc, making the whole thing quite modular.
It would also
be designed to enhance the cooling of the nodes - a whole system design
pieces parts that fit together and almost work optimally. The guts of
node should be able to take whatever type of 2U compatable mobo you want -
whatever processor and memory size are available.
What we built was 20 nodes in a rack with a 24 port 10/100 T switch with
uplink and a 3KVA UPS. My only regret was going with the HD systems
which were cheaper but turned out to be much less reliable than the
(at the time ) VALinux 501s. The HDs have very poor cooling design- the
was much better. It mattered.
> From: Greg Lindahl[SMTP:lindahl at conservativecomputer.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, June 26, 2001 9:08 AM
> To: beowulf at beowulf.org
> Subject: Re: Power requirement for Athlon-MP diskless nodes
> On Tue, Jun 26, 2001 at 11:40:43AM -0400, Thomas R Boehme wrote:
> > We are currently planning to buy a new Athlon-MP cluster
> > I know AMD recommends a 460W power supply, but I am wondering if a less
> > powerful power supply (e.g. 300W) would be enough for a diskless node.
> > experiences or educated guesses?
> A typical modern drive consumes six to eight watts.
> g (my dash is busted :()
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