[Beowulf] DC powered clusters?

Andrew Piskorski atp at piskorski.com
Sat Mar 6 15:43:28 EST 2004

Some rackmount vendors now offer systems with a small DC-to-DC power
supply for each node, with separate AC-DC rectifiers feeding power.  I
imagine the DC is probably at 48 V rather than 12 V or whatever, but
often they don't even seem to ay that, e.g.:


Has anyone OTHER than commercial rackmount vendors designed and built
a cluster using such DC-to-DC power supplies?  Is there detailed info
on such anywhere on the web?

Anybody have any idea exactly what components those vendors are using
for their power systems, where they can be purchased (in small
quantities), and/or how much they cost?

I'm curious how the purchase and operating costs compare to the normal
"stick a standard desktop AC-to-DC PUSE in each node" approach, or
even the hackish "wire on extra connectors and use one high qualtiy
desktop PSU to power 2 or 3 nodes" approach.

The only DC-to-DC supplies I've seen on the web seem quite expensive,


So I suspect the DC-to-DC approach would only ever make economic sense
for large high-end clusters, those with unusual space or heat
constraints, or the like.  But I'm still curious about the details...

Andrew Piskorski <atp at piskorski.com>
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