Power Distribution for SETI servers

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jstonge123

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Message 959492 - Posted: 30 Dec 2009, 6:35:22 UTC

Just for my curiosity, do the servers at SETI have UPS/generator sources?
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Message 959494 - Posted: 30 Dec 2009, 6:39:58 UTC - in response to Message 959492.  

Seti has UPS, there is a generator for the building but Seti is not considered a critical item. Other projects in the building are considered Critical.

Those type of items would end up on seperate grids within the building.

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Message 959532 - Posted: 30 Dec 2009, 14:14:40 UTC

The power grid was off for 24 hours, even with UPS systems most of the time you only get a few hours. SETI does not own a diesel generator, nor does it have the funds to buy and keep one up.
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Message 959569 - Posted: 30 Dec 2009, 17:17:24 UTC - in response to Message 959532.  

The power grid was off for 24 hours, even with UPS systems most of the time you only get a few hours. SETI does not own a diesel generator, nor does it have the funds to buy and keep one up.

More to the point, BOINC has a number of features that are designed to deal with unreliable connectivity, unreliable power, and all measures of service interruption.

Going to great lengths to insure that SETI@Home is never ever shut down or unreachable is not only an expense, it demonstrates that BOINC is not as fault tolerant as it is meant to be.

Anyone who thinks otherwise should really read this white paper.
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Message 959587 - Posted: 30 Dec 2009, 18:44:02 UTC - in response to Message 959569.  

The power grid was off for 24 hours, even with UPS systems most of the time you only get a few hours. SETI does not own a diesel generator, nor does it have the funds to buy and keep one up.

More to the point, BOINC has a number of features that are designed to deal with unreliable connectivity, unreliable power, and all measures of service interruption.

Going to great lengths to insure that SETI@Home is never ever shut down or unreachable is not only an expense, it demonstrates that BOINC is not as fault tolerant as it is meant to be.

Anyone who thinks otherwise should really read this white paper.


You mean we can't have a Tier 1 data center with the budget of...naught. I'm cornfused and bewildered!
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Message 959595 - Posted: 30 Dec 2009, 20:46:20 UTC - in response to Message 959587.  

The power grid was off for 24 hours, even with UPS systems most of the time you only get a few hours. SETI does not own a diesel generator, nor does it have the funds to buy and keep one up.

More to the point, BOINC has a number of features that are designed to deal with unreliable connectivity, unreliable power, and all measures of service interruption.

Going to great lengths to insure that SETI@Home is never ever shut down or unreachable is not only an expense, it demonstrates that BOINC is not as fault tolerant as it is meant to be.

Anyone who thinks otherwise should really read this white paper.


You mean we can't have a Tier 1 data center with the budget of...naught. I'm cornfused and bewildered!

I was thinking more along the lines of "a bold experiment to do great stuff without a tier 1 data center."

The basic idea of BOINC:

These are interesting and important computational projects, but completely unlikely to ever generate the kind of money that will pay for the amount of computing needed.

So, a method is developed where volunteers can donate unused machine cycles, and those idle cycles can be utilized at a very low cost.

If SETI@Home does the things that most of the whining users demand, then BOINC is clearly a failure, and big science is not possible without a big budget.
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Message 959792 - Posted: 31 Dec 2009, 16:38:31 UTC - in response to Message 959596.  

As a DBA myself, I assume that the UPS systems on the SETI servers are there to help maintain power while they shut down.

In fact, in the event of a power outage, you could expect the SETI staff to wait several hours after power is restored before turning on the equipment again. The practice allows the UPS systems to recharge their batteries and ensure that power is truly reliable again. Shutting servers on and off with legacy RAID systems is not a good idea.
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Message 959845 - Posted: 31 Dec 2009, 21:04:16 UTC - in response to Message 959792.  

As a DBA myself, I assume that the UPS systems on the SETI servers are there to help maintain power while they shut down.

In fact, in the event of a power outage, you could expect the SETI staff to wait several hours after power is restored before turning on the equipment again. The practice allows the UPS systems to recharge their batteries and ensure that power is truly reliable again. Shutting servers on and off with legacy RAID systems is not a good idea.

They're tight on rack space, so you can pretty much assume standard UPSes without extended batteries.

Most of those are only good for about 15 to 20 minutes even with a half-load.

In other words, enough time for the servers to gracefully shut down and then signal the UPS so it can cycle power if needed.

They also horribly abuse the batteries.
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Message 959862 - Posted: 31 Dec 2009, 23:53:14 UTC - in response to Message 959845.  

They're tight on rack space, so you can pretty much assume standard UPSes without extended batteries.


http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/sah_photos.php?album=closet_12_22_2008

These are the latest pics of the cabinets (from a couple of years back) and show a couple of rackmount UPS sitting in the bottom of the cabinet. But I would say you are right, they wont run that load for very long. Protection for brief power interuptions or brownouts, and enough time to do a controlled shutdown if you are lucky.

Ian
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Message 959875 - Posted: 1 Jan 2010, 1:02:57 UTC - in response to Message 959862.  

They're tight on rack space, so you can pretty much assume standard UPSes without extended batteries.


http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/sah_photos.php?album=closet_12_22_2008

These are the latest pics of the cabinets (from a couple of years back) and show a couple of rackmount UPS sitting in the bottom of the cabinet. But I would say you are right, they wont run that load for very long. Protection for brief power interuptions or brownouts, and enough time to do a controlled shutdown if you are lucky.

Ian

We used to have power outages out here until high winds forced SCE to replace a good number of older wooden power poles with new wooden power poles, 2009 was the 1st year without a power failure in the summer that I've seen since I moved out here in July 2004. :D
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Message boards : Number crunching : Power Distribution for SETI servers


 
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