[Beowulf] re: Sun Project "blackbox"

Jim Lux James.P.Lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Wed Oct 18 15:52:20 PDT 2006

At 12:21 PM 10/18/2006, David Mathog wrote:

>I don't know about you folks, but 600A of 208V 3 phase combined
>with water cooling, a single exit door, and conducting surfaces
>everywhere sounds like it could be lethal, given 6 months of
>corrosion in the pipes or a faulty plumbing joint somewhere.

The water cooling isn't into the racks, it's to a standard water/air 
heat exchanger just like used in virtually every computer center in 
the world. You'd drop a bunch of these containers off along with a 
standard container packaged water chiller from Aggreko or equivalent, 
hook up the water lines and be good to go. I wouldn't worry about 
water leaks any more than I worry about refrigerant leaks in my car 
or home air conditioner.


The power connection, likewise, is a pretty standard field power 
system using CamLok connectors.  600A at 208V is a standard light 
industrial hookup (you get 3 120V circuits by connecting in Wye) with 
250 kVA diesel generator (that's like a 350-400 HP motor driving it), 
which would be trailer mounted one (you could probably pull it behind 
a pickup truck).
12ft x 4.5x6 ft, 7700 lbs (lighter than a 40 ft container)

The smallest container sized generator is a 500kW unit.  (EGC500V)

There's actually nothing very special here, except for the Sun logo 
on the side and the mentions on Slashdot.

I know of several places that could put something like this together 
in a matter of a couple or three weeks for not a heck of a lot of 
money over the cost of the parts.  Probably 3 or 4 people working on 
it at $40-50/hr for 3 weeks. Call it $5000-10000 in labor. The parts 
would be the expensive thing.  40 running feet of racks at 2ft/rack 
is 20 racks, each with, say 30 computers is 600 computers, at $1000 
each is 600K in computers. Another 100K or so for the HVAC and power 
distribution and bracketry.

Somewhere between 750K and a million out the door, with software 
loaded and running, shipped to your loading dock.

Send me an email, and I'll put you in touch with the people to get 
one done for you to give as a Christmas present <grin>.  Order now, 
you want to beat the holiday rush for the computers and the slowdowns 
around Thanksgiving.


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