[Beowulf] HVAC and room cooling...

Brent M. Clements bclem at rice.edu
Sat Jan 31 00:18:15 EST 2004


I have found that the best thing to do is outsource the colocation of your
equipment. The cost of installing and maintaining the proper type of
cooling and ventilation for mid-large size clusters costs more than to
colocate.

We are currently exploring placing our larger clusters in colocation
facilities right now.

The only downside that we have is that we can't find colocation facilities
that will give us 24/7 physical access to our equipment. As you all
know...researchers push beowulf hardware to the limits and the meantime to
failure is higher.

-B

Brent Clements
Linux Technology Specialist
Information Technology
Rice University


On Fri, 30 Jan 2004, A.J. Rossini wrote:

> John Bushnell <bushnell at chem.ucsb.edu> writes:
>
> > (So many watts) times 'x' equals how many "tons" of AC.  Multiply
> > by at least two of course ;-)
>
> Or 3, sigh...
>
> >>Also, does anyone have any brilliant thoughts for cooling an internal
> >>room that can't affordably get chilled water?  (I've been suggesting
> >>to people that it isn't possible, but someone brought up "portable
> >>liquid nitrogen" -- for the room, NOT for overclocking -- I'm trying
> >>to get stable systems, not instability :-).
> >
> >   You can have an external heat exchanger.  If you are lucky and are,
> > say, on the first floor somewhere close to an external wall, it is
> > pretty simple to run a small pipe between the internal AC and the
> > heat exchanger outside.  Don't know how far it is practical to run
> > one though.  We have one in our computer room, but it is only six
> > feet or so from the exchanger outside.  Our newer AC runs on chilled
> > water which was quoted for a lot less than another inside/outside
> > combo, but we already had a leftover chilled water supply in the
> > computer room.
>
> I've looked at the chilled-water approach.  They estimated between
> $40k-$80k.  oops (this room is REALLY in the middle of the building.
> Great for other computing purposes, but not for cooling).
>
> I'm looking for the proverbial vent-free A/C.  Sort of like
> frictionless tables and similar devices I recall from undergraduate
> physics...
>
> Thanks for the comments!
>
> best,
> -tony
>
> --
> rossini at u.washington.edu            http://www.analytics.washington.edu/
> Biomedical and Health Informatics   University of Washington
> Biostatistics, SCHARP/HVTN          Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
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