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A Method to Identify Different Computer System States by Dynamically Changing Component Handle Color Disclosure Number: IPCOM000012590D
Original Publication Date: 2003-May-16
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-May-16
Document File: 2 page(s) / 41K

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This invention details a method to provide more accurate states of hot swappability of hardware components. This idea extends the existing standard method of color-coding handles by providing a dynamically-changing color handle to depict the correct state of hot swappability in the hardware component.

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  A Method to Identify Different Computer System States by Dynamically Changing Component Handle Color

Color coding has become more and more prevalent in computer and server systems, due to the emphasis on design for improved serviceability and the adoption of customer servicing strategies. Color coding of mechanical affordances on computer components provides a means for quickly identifying component touchpoints and preventing damage from mishandling. In addition, the color can indicate a specific characteristic of the component. For example, using terracotta handles to indicate that a component is hot-swappable (can be removed without interrupting system operation). Commonly, however, there are situations where although a component may be mechanically hot-swappable, there are times when the component is actually not hot-swappable due to various system processes or resource availability. For example, if a hot spare hard disk drive is removed from a set of 4 hot-swappable hard drives set up in a RAID 5 configuration, the 3 remaining hard drives are no longer hot-swappable but now in a critical state where removal of any of the remaining drives could result in data loss. Similarly, consider a server powered by 3 power supplies (current power supplies implement a handle that is always terracotta) where the third power supply is a redundant backup supply. If one of the 3 power supplies is removed, the resulting 2 are no longer in a state of redundancy and removal of one of the remaining 2 could result in system shutdown. In both of these cases, a static component handle color does not convey the accurate state during intermittent periods when the component is actually not hot-swappable or non-redundant. To solve this color coding consistency and accuracy pro...