[Beowulf] /. Cooler room or cooler servers?
hahn at physics.mcmaster.ca
Thu Apr 7 17:33:18 EDT 2005
> (Some (not entirely idiotic) discussion on
faint praise (and justly so!) I'm feeling surly, so I'll whine about this:
> Data center managers are packing more computing power into smaller
> footprints. But today's racks and blades produce massive amounts of heat per
> square foot in comparison with those old tower servers. Left unchecked, this
"tower"? kind of hard to tell what the author is referring to -
desktop-type tower PCs?
but it's true, and often pointless. I attended a meeting today where we
decided not to take a blade approach - it would have been very dense,
but ridiculously difficult to cool (30 KW or so in a rack, forget about it!)
the real point is that density is not the goal. getting the job done well
and cost-effectively is...
> Multi-core processing is one technology with the potential to reduce data
> center cooling requirements. In principle, multi-core processors could
> operate at a lower frequency, using less power to achieve today's computing
> levels, thereby running cooler.
grrr, the real power-saver is to run at lower voltage. that is not
independent of frequency, of course, but voltage is the driver here.
> into the x86 market recently. The Intel offering is scheduled to be available
> early in 2006, while the beta versions of the AMD product have been shipping
> since January 2005.
hmm, Intel gives all the signs of shipping DC for servers well before 2006
of course, they're outrageously hot :(
> be throttled down when not in use. According to server vendors, the
> technology has the capability to save customers 24% annually in power costs.
kind of interesting these authors assume that servers don't have 24x7 load.
> Fewer parts, cooler server
> Calibrated vectored cooling (CVC) is an example. CVC optimizes the path of
> cooled air flow through the system, allowing servers to use fewer fans and
> less power. It directly channels refrigerated air through the hottest parts
> of the server. IBM recently offered CVC for its xSeries and blades. CVC
> technology for blades had allowed IBM to launch the first Xeon-based blade
hmm, engineered cooling is great, but it doesn't decrease power dissipation.
> Egenera blades are all processor and memory. There are no disk drives,
> connector slots or NIC cards to block airflow. None of the extraneous
> hardware is included in the actual server. According to Egenera, eliminating
> as many components as possible allows direct flow to critical areas.
again, better airflow is a great thing, but doesn't reduce dissipation!
> But conventional under-floor air can effectively cool hardware only to a
> certain point.
but it's simply not inevitable that we must go past that point. sure, it's
neato to have ~200-400 cpus in a rack, but is your floorspace really that
> But either way, these approaches aren't mutually exclusive. And data center
> managers would be wise to employ every advantage possible to protect hardware
> from a meltdown.
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