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Server Racking Recommendation

Posted on 2007-11-19
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Last Modified: 2010-04-19
We are in process of relocating to new building and our data center is getting rebuilt.
We have one isle of cabinets which designed in hot/cold isle scenario.

I am just curious if I need to leave any space between blade servers or not in this scenario?

Thanks.
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Question by:all_experts
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8 Comments
 
LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Duncan Meyers
ID: 20316125
Depending on how many blade servers you intend to install in one rack, you may need additional air removal (APC make a rear door with fans for air extraction: http://www.apcc.com/products/family/index.cfm?id=344) for that cabinet. If the data centre has supplied glass doors, remove them! You'll need a minimum of perforated doors and be careful how you cable the blade servers so that airflow is unobstructed.
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Author Comment

by:all_experts
ID: 20316283
We do have APC cabinets about 45U high. Doors are perforated on both sides. Each cabinet will have atleast 3/4 full. I was told since we have AC blowing on the front of the server and the back is hot isle, we shouldnt leave space between servers so the airflow would not get changed.

Any thoughts?
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Expert Comment

by:Duncan Meyers
ID: 20316490
Make sure that any space in the rack not occupied by a server has a blanking plate. Blanking plates ensure that hot air doesn't get recycled into the front of the servers.

The biggest issue with cooling blades is not the intake of cool air but the exhausting of hot air. A rack can typically dump about 2KW of heat load without assistance - and one fully populated blade chassis will exceed that. An exhaust door may be needed if you have multiple blades in one rack. Be careful of power load as well. You may be pushing the current limits on a single power tail with multiple blade chassis.
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LVL 56

Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 20318583
Not only should you leave no gaps or fill any up with fillers you may also have to fit a gasket kit to stop hot air sneaking around the sides of the blade chassis and back into the front without going through the air conditioner.
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Author Comment

by:all_experts
ID: 20319683
So what's the reasoning for not having any space between the blades?
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Accepted Solution

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andyalder earned 750 total points
ID: 20319749
If you leave a space then the air goes out the back and through the space into the front without being cooled. There are no air holes in the top and bottom of the enclosures so why leave a space? Racks cost money, you get as much in them as you can, so does floor space cost money, that's why we have blades rather than 1 or 2 U servers in the first place.

What blades do you have? there is probably a recommended enclosure filling order.
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Author Comment

by:all_experts
ID: 20319812
we have mostly Dell Blades and most of them are 1U.

I think I got my answer. You are saying that if you leave holes then the AIR circulation gets disrupted.
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 20319924
Ahh, not blade servers then but pizza boxes. Same rules apply, don't leave gaps.

Blade servers sit in special enclosures which then sit in the rack, like http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/7c/IBM_bladecenter_(front).jpg/800px-IBM_bladecenter_(front).jpg and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Enclosure_proliant.jpg
or even the rebadged fujitsu one http://i.dell.com/images/global/products/category/pedge_blade_149x149.jpg
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