How do you keep clusters running....

Jim Fraser fraser5 at
Wed Apr 3 13:37:56 PST 2002

Sounds to me like you have a heat problem.  dual ultra thin's generally run
pretty hot.
good luck with it.  There is just no room for any serious air to move thru
that case.  The fan diameter is so small that they require ridiculous rpms
to move the needed volume making them noisy and prone to fail, add to that
the high heat and you accelerate the mtbf to tomorrow.  Most fans fail
quickly in high heat conditions.
I think the basic rack design concept while rugged and strong is
fundamentally flawed and over priced.  I would invest in a serious rack fan
that moves major air out of that case somehow.
good luck with it.


-----Original Message-----
From: beowulf-admin at [mailto:beowulf-admin at]On
Behalf Of Cris Rhea
Sent: Wednesday, April 03, 2002 4:04 PM
To: beowulf at
Subject: How do you keep clusters running....

What are folks doing about keeping hardware running on large clusters?

Right now, I'm running 10 Racksaver RS-1200's (for a total of 20 nodes)...

Sure seems like every week or two, I notice dead fans (each RS-1200
has 6 case fans in addition to the 2 CPU fans and 2 power supply fans).

My last fan failure was a CPU fan that toasted the CPU and motherboard.

How are folks with significantly more nodes than mine dealing with constant
maintenance on their nodes?  Do you have whole spare nodes sitting around-
ready to be installed if something fails, or do you have a pile of
spare parts?  Did you get the vendor (if you purchased prebuilt systems)
to supply a stockpile of warranty parts?

One of the problems I'm facing is that every time something croaks,
Racksaver is very good about replacing it under warranty, but getting
the new parts delivered usually takes several days.

For some things like fans, they sent extras for me to keep on-hand.

For my last fan/CPU/motherboard failure, the node pair will be
down ~5 days waiting for parts.

Comments? Thoughts? Ideas?


--- Cris

  Cristopher J. Rhea                      Mayo Foundation
  Research Computing Facility              Pavilion 2-25
  crhea at Mayo.EDU                        Rochester, MN 55905
  Fax: (507) 266-4486                     (507) 284-0587
Beowulf mailing list, Beowulf at
To change your subscription (digest mode or unsubscribe) visit

More information about the Beowulf mailing list