North American Network Operators Group

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RE: rack power question

  • From: Mike Tancsa
  • Date: Sun Mar 23 13:46:57 2008

At 01:14 PM 3/23/2008, Ray Burkholder wrote:

My desktop has a 680 Watt power supply, but according to a meter I once
connected, it is only running at 350 to 400 Watts.  So if a server has a
980W power supply, does the rack power need to be designed to handle
multiples of such a beast, even though the server may not come close
(because it may not be fully loaded with drives or whatever)?  Wouldn't it
be better to do actual measurements to see the real draw might be?

The startup draw can be quite a bit more. I think before all those fancy power saving features kick in, some of the servers we have can draw quite a bit on initial bootup as they spin the fans 100% and spin up disks etc.
I also find the efficiencies of boards really vary. In our spam scanning cluster we used some "low end" RS480 boards by ECS (AMD Socket 939). Cool to run to the point where on the bench you would touch the various heat sinks and wonder if it was powered up. This compared to some of our Tyan 939 "server boards" which could blister your finger if you touched the heat sink too long.