With the advent of big data and cloud computing solutions, enterprise demand for servers is increasing. There is especially high growth for Intel based x86 server platforms. Today’s datacenters are in constant pursuit of high performance/high availability computing solutions coupled with low power consumption and low heat generation and the ability to manage all of this through advanced telemetry data gathering. This paper showcases one such solution of an updated rack and server architecture that promises such improvements.
The ability to manage server and data center power consumption and cooling more completely is critical in effectively managing datacenter costs and reducing the PUE in the data center. Traditional Intel based 1U and 2U form factor servers have existed in the data center for decades. These general purpose x86 server designs by the major OEM’s are, for all practical purposes, very similar in their power consumption and thermal output. Power supplies and thermal designs for server in the past have not been optimized for high efficiency. In addition, IT managers need to know more information about servers in order to optimize data center cooling and power use, an improved server/rack design needs to be built to take advantage of more efficient power supplies or PDU’s and more efficient means of cooling server compute resources than from traditional internal server fans. This is the constant pursuit of corporations looking at new ways to improving efficiency and gaining a competitive advantage.
A new way to optimize power consumption and improve cooling is a complete redesign of the traditional server rack. Extracting internal server power supplies and server fans and centralizing these within the rack aims to achieve this goal. This type of design achieves an entirely new low power target by utilizing centralized, high efficiency PDU’s that power all servers within the rack. Cooling is improved by also utilizing large efficient rack based fans for airflow to all servers. Also, opening up the server design is to allow greater airflow across server components for improved cooling. This centralized power supply breaks through the traditional server power limits. Rack based PDU’s can adjust the power efficiency to a more optimum point. Combine this with the use of online + offline modes within one single power supply. Cold backup makes data center power to achieve optimal power efficiency. In addition, unifying the mechanical structure and thermal definitions within the rack solution for server cooling and PSU information allows IT to collect all server power and thermal information centrally for improved ease in analyzing and processing.