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Old 2nd April 2009, 18:43   #1
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Default Google uncloaks once-secret server

Google's big surprise: each server has its own 12-volt battery to supply power if there's a problem with the main source of electricity. The company also revealed for the first time that since 2005, its data centers have been composed of standard shipping containers--each with 1,160 servers and a power consumption that can reach 250 kilowatts.

It may sound geeky, but a number of attendees--the kind of folks who run data centers packed with thousands of servers for a living--were surprised not only by Google's built-in battery approach, but by the fact that the company has kept it secret for years. Jai said in an interview that Google has been using the design since 2005 and now is in its sixth or seventh generation of design.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-10209580-92.html
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Old 2nd April 2009, 19:25   #2
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Nice found, 12V only PSU. The battery's, hmmm, I have my thoughts about those. They don't seem greater than 7,2A 12V which ain't that much for pc's: good enough to leave it running for 10~30min, stressed probable less then that. And who is going to replace all them after 3~5years, open each server to swap the battery? Full time job if you ask me
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Old 2nd April 2009, 19:46   #3
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April fools?
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Old 2nd April 2009, 19:58   #4
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I don't this one is April Fool's
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Old 3rd April 2009, 04:59   #5
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I think by the time the batteries need replacing they won't be interested in keeping the hardware anyway. Entire approach is low cost... may make more sense to buy replacement "low cost" systems in 3-5 years and not worry about replacing the batteries at all. Certainly far more "efficient" hardware will be available by then making it worthwhile.

No idea what they are using but a professional quality UPS battery I had lasted forever, 6 years before it failed a system load test. (APC 1100 Pro) Had a cheap Belkin consumer UPS die outright in 2 years, was only lightly used.

12V only PSU helps explain how Google can operate some of the most efficient datacenters on the planet. Efficient PSUs/systems and lack of a monitor probably means that battery could last longer than it might appear. 15-25 minutes does sound reasonable... mostly just the brief brownouts and temporary blackouts that pose the most problem anyway, and gives the server enough time to write memory to disk and shut off without data loss.

Very interesting article. Had heard before Google was interested in the container approach, and especially in converting out a container ship into a datacener so they could use the water to further decrease cooling costs. I forget who came up with that idea originally.
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Old 3rd April 2009, 08:39   #6
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they are using Gigabyte motherboards for their servers, for their power saving features!
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