[Beowulf] let's standardize liquid cooling

Lux, Jim (337C) james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Fri Sep 28 14:25:57 PDT 2012


An interesting idea..
BUT.. you might need some sort of "bench test" fixture.. thermally driven convection might work.

And I think you'd have mfrs worried about people filling a rack full of fanless nodes and then not turning on the fans.  Or the power failing to the fans, or, opening both doors.

I suppose some sort of overtemperature cutout would solve this: the mobo would just shut down if it got too hot.


Whatever happened to a Beowulf made of tower cases piled on brick and board book cases?

Or this incredibly adaptable scheme: http://climate.ornl.gov/~forrest/linux-magazine-1999/  note the easy reference information inscribed on each node in this novel heterogenous cluster.  It's all part of addressing: "Management of such a large, heterogeneous cluster poses many challenges."

Jim Lux


-----Original Message-----
From: beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org [mailto:beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org] On Behalf Of Bill Broadley
Sent: Friday, September 28, 2012 2:15 PM
To: beowulf at beowulf.org
Subject: Re: [Beowulf] let's standardize liquid cooling


Sounds expensive, complicated, and challenging.

How about a MUCH simpler proposal: eliminate fans from compute nodes.

Nodes should:
* assume good front to back airflow

Racks would:
* have large fans front AND back that run at relatively low
  rpm, and relatively quiet.
* If front or rear door open the other door would ramp up fans
  (and noise) to compensate.

My measurements of 1U nodes have shown a significant fraction of the power budget goes to fans!  Fans that fit in 1U (even 2U) nodes seem to generate more noise, heat, and vibration than airflow.


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