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An energy efficient and fully integrated rack-mounted system design for sharing power and cooling infrastructure

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000171075D
Original Publication Date: 2008-May-28
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2008-May-28

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

The ideas of this invention is to eliminate all the fans in each node, and replace each AC power supply with a DC power supply. Assuming that each node has at least 3 fans, with a density of 84 nodes per rack, that will eliminate at least 252 fans in the rack, saving tremendous amount of power, space and cost. Switching from AC to DC power supply will reduce the heat generated in each node, and save some space because a DC power supply is much smaller than AC, and doesn’t need a fan to cool it.

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An energy efficient and fully integrated rack-mounted system design for sharing power and cooling infrastructure

1. Background: What is the problem solved by your invention? Describe known solutions to this problem(if any). What are the drawbacks of such known solutions, or why is an additional solution required? Cite any relevant technical documents or references.

Computer data center has become a vital part of ourincreasingly digitalized society and life style. As demand for computing resources is rising infinitely, so does the demand for data center space. However, expanding a data center is an extremelycostly operation, sometime not even possible either because of physical limitation or lack of appropriate energy supply to power additional equipment and cool the larger installation. The IT industry has been circumventing the space problem by creating faster processors while fitting them into smaller footprint servers, increasing the

                              of data center space. While that trend has been going on for the past two decades, we're now hitting a new obstacle: the energy required to power the computers and to cool them is going to exceedthe capacity that most of the data centers have been built for. In other words, space is no longer the only problem in data center today; electricity supply and cost are becoming the highest priority issues that data center managers have to deal with everyday. Business managers are also impacted because no longer can they assume that they can buy new servers to run their new applications at anytime. When the data center capacity is capped, there is no place to host their new applications! Therefore, data center problems are getting the attention of the CIO as well as CEO today.

In the past few years, the IT industry has worked in many areas in order to keep the energy demand andgenerated heat stable while providing more processing capacity, with innovations such as using new synthetic materials in processor manufacturing, multi-core processor architecture, sharing common components in blade server, consolidating servers with hardware and software virtualization, etc. However, while most of the companies focus their researches on the computing components (i.e. processor, memory, storage, software), few of them actually focus on the non-computing components such as the cooling fans and AC power supply. A research shows that the non-computing components may consume more power than the processor and memory combined! (See "other" in pie chart below)

processing capacity per square foot

1

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Processor 30%

Memory 11%

PCI

3%

Processor Memory PCI
Planar HDD
Standby Other

Other 44%

Standby 2%

Moreover, most of the researches focus inside the server box while few of them actually look outside the server box . In the commodity server marketplace (Intel servers, low-end Unix servers), which is...