How Rackable saves power with impeller fans

Rackable Systems had their Ice Cube modular data center on display at the supercomputing conference this week.  I didn't get to see it at IDF when it was parked outside so I grabbed a few photos and inspected the data center as it was parked in the corner of the convention center.

Rackable Systems had their Ice Cube modular data center on display at the supercomputing conference this week.  I didn't get to see it at IDF when it was parked outside so I grabbed a few photos and inspected the data center as it was parked in the corner of the convention center.  Pictured left is the back of the Ice Cube trailer.

The trailer has 1400U of half-depth rack space and can house 11200 CPU cores using dual-processor quad-core servers.

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What's unique about the Ice Cube is that its servers doesn't need any fans because the massive impeller fans create so much of a vacuum that air flows through each of the servers to fill the vacuum.

The fact that the Ice Box can sit outside can often mean you can get free cold air in many parts of the country.  Each server is powered by DC which further saves you power since you don't need to convert AC into DC multiple times.

Microsoft and others have been contemplating the possibility of just using modular trucks instead of building extremely expensive datacenters.

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The picture to the left shows a covered impeller fan.  All the impeller fans in the Ice Cube trailer takes 5,000W combined but it can save you up to 25,000W of tiny fans you no longer need in those 1400 servers.  Not only does that save power, that's 5600 fans you don't need to worry about maintaining if they break down.

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