TeraByte File Server Project - Cooling

  1. Index
  2. Case
  3. Disk Brick
  4. Power
  5. Cooling
  6. Motherboard
  7. Memory
  8. Disk Controller
  9. Drive Cables
  10. Disk Drives

The project described in this web page was started in May, 2001. The product information in this web page (components to use) is current as of January, 2002. The information in this web page provides the knowledge, and ideas necessary to build a functional TeraByte file server. For more information on current file server offerings, please look here.


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This is a large project with many disks. As a result of this, care must be taken to ensure that all components remain within their proper operating temperature range. In order to determine exactly what is occurring, several tests were made, and many temperature readings were taken. The results are as follows:

One TeraByte (5 disk bricks)
In this configuration, the disk cooling fans don't move enough air to satisfy the cooling needs of the power supply and motherboard. It will be necessary to use some high-volume intake fans to ensure adequate airflow. Since the disk cooling fans take their air from the front of the system, the extra fans should also do this. In the chassis being used for this project, these fans are shown here.

It is important to not take air in from the back of the system, as this could easily create an air loop, where the hot exhaust is pulled back in. This could quickly overheat the system, causing failures.

All exhaust vents in the case should be blocked. The exception to this is that all unused slot covers near the motherboard should be removed. This will provide adequate airflow past the CPU and memory.

Two TeraByte (10 disk bricks)
Because of the second power supply needed to spin up the thirty drives for this configuration, the cooling requirements remain the same as for the One TeraByte implementation. This is due to the extra air exhausted by the second power supply.

Three TeraByte (15 disk bricks)
The extra five disk bricks needed here can replace the auxiliary fans needed in the previous implementations. The need for blocking exhaust vents does not change. Leaving in the extra fans will not cause any problems, and may even improve the cooling effectiveness.

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