Power and Cooling (Single-Computer Installations)

Revision for “Power and Cooling (Single-Computer Installations)” created on July 21, 2013 @ 20:08:58

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Power and Cooling (Single-Computer Installations)
<em>This article applies to computers which consume less than 1920 Watts of electricity. Review your quote or contact us to determine how much your system will require (the power and cooling numbers are typically listed at the end of the quote – below the total cost of the system).</em>
<h2>Acoustic Considerations – Fan Noise</h2>
Most single computers can be powered and cooled within an office environment. However, some systems contain high-speed fans which generate loud noise. In some cases, an office worker may decide this is acceptable. In others, the noise may be subject to safety regulations (e.g., OSHA) and <strong>will be audible from other offices in the building</strong>.

Many of Microway’s workstations – most notably the <a title="WhisperStation Quiet Workstations" href="http://www.microway.com/products/workstations/">WhisperStation</a> – are designed to be very quiet and comfortable for an office environment. Other systems contain so many high-power components that they simply cannot be quietly cooled.

In contrast with other vendors, Microway does not re-brand servers as workstations. We will provide an honest assessment of system noise. If you have any concerns, discuss these matters with your salesperson. In general, if it’s not a WhisperStation you should consider whether the system is appropriate for an office environment.
<h2>Power</h2>
Most single Microway computers can be powered from a standard wall outlet. For groups of computers, there are better options than those listed below – see <a title="Power and Cooling (Multiple-Computer Installations)" href="http://www.microway.com/knowledge-center-articles/power-and-cooling-multiple-computer-installations/">Power and Cooling for Multiple Computers</a>.
<h3>Home / Small Office Electrical Outlets</h3>
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Domestic_AC_Type_B_USA.jpg" target="_blank"><img class="alignright" alt="Picture of NEMA 5-15 Electrical Outlet Domestic AC USA" src="http://www.microway.com/wp-content/uploads/NEMA_5-15_Outlet_Domestic_AC_USA-140×112.jpg" width="140" height="112" /></a>These power outlets provide 15 Amps at 120V and are designated NEMA 5-15. After a 20% de-rating for safety, the <strong>NEMA 5-15 can supply up to 1440 Watts of power</strong>.

<strong>There are several cases when 15A 120V outlets are not sufficient:</strong>
<ul>
<li>Other equipment is already connected to the electrical circuit. It is common for multiple outlets to connect to the same circuit, so don’t assume that an empty outlet means power is available. You will need to perform an inventory of the power required by your existing equipment.</li>
<li>You would like to provide a backup power solution (UPS) and the system consumes more than 1000 Watts.</li>
<li>Servers with more than four GPU accelerators or coprocessors will consume more than 1440 Watts.</li>
<li>Your system is a Twin or Blade server which actually contains multiple computers. These systems almost always consume more than 1440 Watts.</li>
</ul>
<h3>Commercial Electrical Outlets</h3>
<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Electrical_outlet_with_label.jpg" target="_blank"><img class="alignright" alt="Picture of NEMA 5-20 Electrical Outlet Domestic AC USA" src="http://www.microway.com/wp-content/uploads/NEMA_5-20_Outlet_Domestic_AC_USA-140×112.jpg" width="140" height="112" /></a>These power outlets provide 20 Amps at 120V and are designated NEMA 5-20. After a 20% de-rating for safety, the <strong>NEMA 5-20 can supply up to 1920 Watts of power</strong>.

This type of outlet is common in office buildings, medical centers and universities, but is not universal. Double-check to be certain your area actually has this type of power circuit. Also verify that it is not designated for special purposes, such as emergency power.

<strong>Although this outlet should be sufficient for almost all systems, consider:</strong>
<ul>
<li>Other equipment may already be connected to the electrical circuit. It is common for multiple outlets to connect to the same circuit, so don’t assume that an empty outlet means power is available. You will need to perform an inventory of the power required by your existing equipment.</li>
<li>Servers with more than four GPU accelerators or coprocessors may consume more than 1920 Watts.</li>
<li>If this is a Blade chassis with multiple computers, it will consume more than 1920 Watts.</li>
</ul>
<h2>Cooling</h2>
Systems in this category can typically be run without special cooling arrangements – the building air-conditioning will be able to keep up with the load.

<strong>Note that some facilities reduce or shut down air-conditioning during holidays and weekends.</strong> Many systems will overheat if they are run in a closed room without sufficient cooling. You may need to make special arrangements.

To be certain, present the cooling requirements (provided by your salesperson) to your facilities manager. Your facilities personnel should be able to determine if issues will occur.



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