OpenBSD Journal

IIJ outside-air-cooled data center experiment with 300 OpenBSD servers

Contributed by jcr on from the Cool-Japanese dept.

Takuya Asada (syuu@) wrote in to say:

Two OpenBSD developers Yojiro Uo (yuo@) and Yasuoka Masahiko (yasuoka@) work at a leading ISP in Japan called IIJ (Internet Initiative Japan Inc.). I was invited to visit IIJ's next-gen data center experiment facility where one of their experiments is running 300 OpenBSD servers.

They're using OpenBSD servers for an experiment with outside-air-cooling using USB thermo-hygrograph sensors. Of course, the driver was written by yuo-san.

Full story and photos are here:

(Comments are closed)

  1. By GP (gepal) on

    What kind of thermal sensors was used? It looks like they are very cheap to produce. Schematics? :)

  2. By jirib (jirib) on

    I read that Google doesn't use rack cases at all but some special drawers thus servers are cooling just from external environment, also they remove all crap from motherboards which could consume more power to save power costs. Also I read they do not use UPC but some special battery in front of every server (as well to save power costs).

    Of course it depends on data and service, but as they have clustered replicated filesystems they do not need to care much if one server crashes when each data is replicated a couple of times on other machines.

    1. By Peter J. Philipp (pjp) on

      > Also I read they do not use UPC but some special battery in front of every server (as well to save power costs).

      I think you read right because I read that too! The IIJ stuff is impressive too I must add.


    2. By Lennie (Lennie) on

      You are looking for:

      They design the mainboard with the manufacturer. I recently heared, Google is the 3rd or 4th largest designer of servers worldwide, behing HP and Dell. As google uses a lot of servers.

      The design they used in 2008/2009 had a modified design from normal servers/pc's, it has the UPS-battery onboard, the UPS is not outside of the server, but inside the server. "Behind" the powersupply. So that there is a lot less powerconversion. normally: 220 V or 110 V going into a UPS, the UPS converts part of it to 12 V for the UPS battery and the rest goes to the power-supply, there is a conversion there to from 110/220 to 12 and 5 for the rest of the server. Now all these conversion systems make it less efficient.

      So they have a power-supply which gets 110 or 220 in, then outcomes 12 for the devices (HD, fans, etc.) but also for the UPS-battery and 5V for the mainboard/CPU.

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