Enthusiasm never stops


Power consumption of a server with an Intel E3-1200 Series CPU

I got my hands on the following server for a day, so I decided to measure its power consumption because the new Intel Xeon Processor E3 series look very promising. They support ECC memory and at the same time have “Intelligent, Adaptive Performance”, which in plain text means that they can power themselves down and thus save energy. Furthermore, their price and the price of the motherboards are fair as these CPUs seem to be meant to be used mainly in Desktop workstations. Having ECC support lets us use them in servers too. The only caveat is that those Sandy Bridge based Xeon CPUs support only single CPU configuration — so don’t try to find a dual-CPU motherboard.

Here is the server configuration:

BIOS settings are set up for optimal power savings without compromising performance. FAN control is enabled too. Room temperature is 21 degrees Celsius.

Power usage with different server utilization scenarios follows:

  • 7W — power off; idle consumation, the IPMI is alive
  • 39W — power on; Linux OS is idle
    • IPMI sensor readings: cooling FAN works with 1755 RPM — relatively quiet; CPU temperature is Low
  • 45W to 60W — power on; moderate Linux OS usage
    • load average: 1.53; installing 200 new packets via “apt-get”
    • IPMI sensor readings: cooling FAN works with 1755 RPM — relatively quiet; CPU temperature is Low
  • 130W — power on; full stress by “stress –cpu 16 –io 8 –vm 8 –vm-bytes 1780M –hdd 4″
    • load average: 36.00; I/O load: 100%, mostly write; CPUs busy @ 100%, 70% user, 30% system, all CPU cores are utilized
    • RAM: about 95% used, 30% cached; network load: 22 Mbit/s constant SSH transfer
    • IPMI sensor readings: cooling FAN works with 3100 RPM — much noisy; CPU temperature is Medium

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Super Micro chassis rails by Repon rock!

I just wanted to share my excitement about the new Super Micro chassis. I’m very pleased with how the rails of the SC835 and the SC846 cases are extremely easily mounted. By the way, the rails were made by Repon, at least this is what the logo on the rails says.

It’s nothing revolutionary, and Dell chassis are having this for a longer time I think, but Super Micro caught up and kept me a very happy customer of theirs. Actually the company I work for is a customer of theirs, I’m just a System Administrator who happens to be installing a whole bunch of new Super Micro servers.

Bottom line is that the new rails mount in the rack without the usage of any tools or rack bolts/nuts. You can mount them with your bare hands. What’s the big deal with this? You spend almost no time in mounting the rails. Good work Super Micro, and Repon!

The mounting process follows in images. Sorry for the bad photo quality.