Data Center Power
With more compute power being packed into each system, the requirements for power are becoming greater. Gone are the days where a few single phase 120V PDUs would do the trick in every rack. We are now using 208V three-phase PDUs in most racks. At Aspen Systems, we can help you with figuring out how much power is needed for your solution, and include it into our proposals. Alternatively, if given the available amount of power (and cooling) per rack, our Engineers can customize a rack and power layout for you.
Power Distribution Units (PDUs)
Modern clusters can require significant power. Each rack in your Aspen Systems cluster is normally equipped with rack mounted PDUs which provide power to one or more nodes. Each unit is an important part of phasing power to your servers. Normally, one or more PDUs are installed in the rear of the rack behind the node mounting infrastructure and do not impact the rack space available for mounting your other hardware. Aspen Systems can provide your cluster with switched PDUs. Cluster administrators can use these switched PDUs to remotely power off any system in the cluster. Metered PDUs are available as well, which administrators can poll for circuit status and load. Various APC metered vertical server rack PDUs pictured left.
Growing demand for computing power and constraints on physical space have led to more densely packed rack enclosures. And as the number of rack-mounted servers, blade servers, network switches and routers has increased, so has the need for power in the rack.
These PDUs are usually connected directly to outlets on the wall, under your raised floor, or in your overhead rack infrastructure. They can also be connected to UPS units which are located in your Aspen Systems rack(s) or elsewhere.
One of the most common customer errors is to specify incorrect plug types for their cluster installation. National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) plugs and receptacles are commonly used in North America, and use designators such as “NEMA L6-30R” to identify receptacle and plug types. The “R” stands for receptacle, which is the receptacle you provide at your facility to plug your cluster into, while “P” stands for plug.
You may need to consult with your electrical personnel at your facility to determine exactly what receptacles you have or can support. Speak with your Aspen Systems sales engineer if you need assistance about your options or what type of receptacles your current facility has.
You may have a facility that already has a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) or even a generator. A UPS unit is necessary to ensure that no power interruption occurs, even if you have a generator. A UPS unit alone will only keep the units powered for a limited amount of time, usually less than 30 minutes, but can be used in conjunction with a facility generator to ensure that your infrastructure continues to run even in extended power outages.
It is always a good idea to protect your critical systems, normally the master, any fail‐over masters, administrative, and storage nodes, with UPS systems if your facility does not have them. Operating these nodes on UPS ensures that a sudden power blackout (power is lost completely) or brownout (low voltage levels), or drop-out (momentary total loss of power) does not cause these nodes to crash, which risks file system or hardware damage. Brownout or drop-out situations are transparent to a node protected by UPS, and if the blackout lasts long enough to drain the UPS battery, monitoring software can effect an orderly shutdown of the node(s) to minimize possible file system damage and facilitate a clean reboot process later.
Additional UPS runtime can be configured for your cluster by adding additional battery packs to your UPS system(s) as well. Speak to your Aspen Systems sales engineer about your specific UPS needs.
Reliable. Versatile. Powerful. Efficient.
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