To maintain its position at the forefront of international research, the Institute for Computational Cosmology at Durham University wanted to develop a new high-performance computing cluster - find out how they did it.
When blade servers are densely packed, they can exceed the power and cooling capacities of almost all traditional data centers. This paper explains how to evaluate the options and select the best power and cooling approach for a successful and predictable blade deployment.
Alternatives for providing electrical power to high density racks in Data Centers and Network Rooms are explained and compared. Issues addressed include quantity of feeds, single-phase vs. three-phase, number and location of circuit breakers, overload, selection of plug types, selection of voltage, redundancy, and loss of redundancy. The need for the rack power system to adapt to changing requirements is identified and quantified. Guidelines are defined for rack power systems that can reliably deliver power to high density loads while adapting to changing needs.
The quest for efficiency improvement raises questions regarding the optimal air temperature for data centers. The ASHRAE TC-9.9 committee has recently adopted an extension of the recommended thermal envelope for server inlet temperature and humidity. A popular hypothesis suggests that total energy demands should diminish as the server inlet temperatures increase. This paper tests that hypothesis through the development of a composite power consumption baseline for a mixture of servers as a function of inlet temperature and applying this data to a variety of cooling architectures.
Simple and rapid deployment of self-contained, high-density pods within an existing or new low-density data center is possible with today's power and cooling technology. The independence of these high-density pods allow for predictable and reliable operation of high-density equipment without a negative impact on the performance of existing low-density power and cooling infrastructure. A side benefit is that these high-density pods operate at much higher electrical efficiency than conventional designs. Guidance on planning design, implementation, and predictable operation of high-density pods is provided.
Fire safety regulations and their application to UPS battery installations are reviewed. In some cases, fire codes do not clearly recognize improvements in battery safety resulting from changing battery technology. Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) batteries are frequently deployed within data centers and network rooms without the need for the elaborate safety systems that are required for Vented (Flooded) Lead Acid batteries. Proper interpretation of the fire codes is essential in the design and implementation of data centers and network rooms.
DC power distribution has been proposed as an alternative to AC power distribution in data centers, but misinformation and conflicting claims have confused the discussion. A detailed analysis and model show that many of the benefits commonly stated for DC distribution are unfounded or exaggerated. This paper explains why high efficiency AC will likely emerge as the dominant choice for data center power distribution.