[Beowulf] Q: Cooling units? Raised floors? General machine room stuff..

Suvendra Nath Dutta sdutta at cfa.harvard.edu
Fri Jul 2 07:57:23 PDT 2004

With good advice like this, you have to give recommendations! What 
brand work bench do you use? This is quite important for me as we have 
no service agreement. I fought hard to have a "temporary" ramp put in 
up the steps to our cluster room (with a raised floor). But without a 
good work bench it would be useless.


On Jul 2, 2004, at 10:03 AM, Robert G. Brown wrote:

> On Fri, 2 Jul 2004, Jim Lux wrote:
>>>   Finally, what other suggestions do people have for equipment 
>>> needed?
>>> On my list we've got the UPS, the AC, thermal sensors and 
>>> killswitches,
>>> APC Masterswitch units, power lines, network lines, web/video camera 
>>> and
>>> an alarm.  Anything else people find useful?
>> Coat rack to hang some jackets on.
> Work bench.  A nice one, with rechargable screwdriver and bit set,
> various hand tools, good lighting, a network drop or three, a small KVM
> and flatpanel video/keyboard, screw/part organized storage, a rack to
> hang spare cables on -- you get the idea.  Even if you get top shelf
> service agreements on everything, you WILL be working down there
> prepping nodes to go in or out, replacing failed drives on out of
> warranty systems, and so forth.
> Comfortable swivel/rolling work chairs to match the bench, and if you
> are really into comfort, put a cheap workstation on your bench KVM
> (useful in and of itself) and add a nice set of headphones on a long
> cable to keep your ears warm, exclude room noise (likely considerable),
> and let you listen to that 20 GB ogg collection we know that you've got
> squirrelled away somewhere while working...;-)
> A phone.  One with a really loud ringer or even a blinking light 
> ringer,
> if your AC is as loud as ours.
> He says as he prepares to descend into the bowels of the physics
> department to work in OUR cluster/server room... sigh.  Comfort is key.
>> When thinking about UPSes, etc.  consider partitioning your system so 
>> that
>> not everything dies together.  Your monitoring and head node 
>> computers might
>> want a longer duration than the compute nodes.  (that web cam's not 
>> going to
>> do much for you if the power is shut off...)
>> A temperature/humidity recorder is nice to have.  It could be as 
>> simple as
>> an off the shelf weatherstation widget and a logging program.  It 
>> lets you
>> better manage your HVAC.
> Regarding AC units, there are some very lovely 10 ton and 15 ton units.
> Since a major component of your cost will be space renovation, and 
> since
> this will become MORE costly later as it will require downtime and dust
> on top of the mere dollars, you'll really want to TRY to engineer the
> space now for its eventual future peak capacity.  You'd also much 
> rather
> have too much AC than two little.
> You might want two 5 ton units instead of one 10, though -- that way 
> you
> have a bit of redundancy should one fail while you are still at current
> levels.  I agree with Jim, though -- talk to your HVAC contractor, they
> should be able to give you good advice here.
>    rgb
> -- 
> Robert G. Brown	                       http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb/
> Duke University Dept. of Physics, Box 90305
> Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
> Phone: 1-919-660-2567  Fax: 919-660-2525     email:rgb at phy.duke.edu
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