Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Big Server Move Reason #2: Big Power

See Also: Reason #1: Bigger Pipe

This is part of a blog series on why Eclipse.org moved to a new datacenter.

Reason #2: Big Power

Today, small servers can deliver greater computational power than the bigger servers of only a few years ago.  But they are power-hungry: 700W to 1000W power supplies in small 1U servers means server cabinets now require plenty of power distribution units (PDUs).

Since efficiency drops with as AC current increases, it became clear that  North America's standard 120v AC power was inefficient usage of yesteryear's technology (the rest of the world has figured this out long ago).  As DC power is simply not there yet for colocation, 208v 3-phase AC was the way to go.  Not only do servers consume a bit less power at that higher voltage, our new PDU bars have built-in current monitors that display instant power usage on each phase, and can be graphed remotely thanks to SNMP.

Additionally, the new facility is providing us with A+B redundant power circuits that we must keep under 40% capacity.  This allows for the total loss of one circuit while still remaining within acceptable loads (below 80%) on the remaining circuit.

Next up: Reason #3: Big Cooling

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