Browse Prior Art Database

Expandable Rack Environment Visual Fault Indication System

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000016476D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Jun-24
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-24
Document File: 3 page(s) / 59K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

A Common Expandable Rack fault indication unit, which can be used in a hierarchical method, so that any fault in a rack is displayed on the unit used as the Rack Indicator, and any fault in a Row of Racks is displayed on the unit used as the Row Indicator.

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Expandable Rack Environment Visual Fault Indication System

   With the growing demand of high-availability server systems such as server farms and grid computing, the need for quick and precise failure discovery systems is becoming increasingly more important. One of the most common approaches used to achieve this discovery is by interconnecting all systems to a single system monitor. By doing this, a message will be sent to the system monitor notifying the system administrator when one of the many systems in the server environment fails. At that time, the administrator will manually locate that system and perform any necessary repair. In addition to that strategy, many of these systems also have fault LEDs or beacons on the failed system itself which will assist the administrator in visually pinpointing the failed system.

     Although the above mentioned methods of determining the location of a faulty system work, they do have their limitations. Server farms are growing larger and larger sometimes reaching several rows of racks all filled with systems. The system monitor usually will notify the administrator what system has failed by displaying the failed system's address. Once this address is known, the administrator will have to look up that system's location (possibly on a cheat sheet he/she put together) and walk down the aisles of racks looking for the failure LED or beacon, taking a fair amount of time in installations consisting of hundreds of systems.

     The Expandable Rack Environment Visual Fault Indication System was designed to enhance the failure discovery procedure by providing a linked visual path directing someone to the failed system, thus reducing the time required to find and fix the server.

     The Expandable Rack Environment Visual Fault Indication System improves upon previous designs by providing a more efficient and flexible means of system failure discovery. In a typical server farm or grid computing server model, many racks filled with server systems can exist. These servers are usually arranged in rows which can consist of several rack-fulls of servers. In order to make this system work, each one of these racks will have a fault indicator light residing on top of it (See Figure 1 and Figure
2). This light is connected to all the systems in t...