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View Full Version : Using MB power conservation features on render node computers.



asmith47
05-31-2003, 06:22 AM
We have a heat problem in our server room when we have all the rendering computers up, and I have had some success with using the hard drive power down features on those machines to no apparent ill effect. I am wondering if anyone has encountered problems using this power saving feature on rendering computers.

OT for nt/win2k server mavens: I would also like to power down the disks on my primary and secondary DNS servers. Is there any problem with doing this? Obviously I will not be doing this on my file server, but is there any problem with doing it on those servers? Thanks!

Mylenium
05-31-2003, 09:56 AM
Hi there,

In general I don't hink using any power saving features as a good idea - even on a simple office computer. There are always some minor problems. You know, a service that didn't wake up, missing files etc. However, if it works, you can stick with it. I guess you never had large scenes where a lot of swapping was required so you were lucky.

As for powering down your DNS: This should be no problem (once again - if it works) but may not make sense. Depending on the configuration it will try to re-read certain network configuration files as well as write its own hash files.

Mylenium

electroNIX
05-31-2003, 10:36 AM
what kind of heat problems you have?
something you couldnt cure with a portable aircon?

asmith47
05-31-2003, 08:17 PM
Since a portable air conditioner cannot violate the the laws of thermodymics, the heat must go somewhere, and we cannot exhaust the heat from the room without cutting a hole in the roof or some such major surgery. The building has central air, but I am leery of just exhausting the air into the airspace above the suspended ceiling. The system uses a ductless return (a situation I plan to correct for energy conservation reasons) and I don't want to overload the main AC unit with even more hot air. It is a cinch that we use more juice in here than the system was designed to handle.

I have moved the exhaust grilles in the suspended ceiling directly over the equipment rack and have adjusted the vents so that the room gets as much air as possible, but it still gets pretty warm in the room when the farm is fired up. All servers have 1GB of memory so swapping shouldn't be a problem. My understanding is that all of the files are read off the host computer anyway, the purpose of the local drive being primarily to boot the OS and get you into your batch files that run screamernet. No textures or LW components are stored on the node drives.

There is an adjacent room that has two ac vents for some reason, and I may be able to move one of them to the server room, but that is a project in itself and we are pretty busy with other things.

Aside from the heat considerations, we have put this place on a strict energy diet and have thusfar reduced our bill from around $500 a month to just under $200 by doing things like using compact flourescent bulbs, energy saver tubes for our standard flourescent fixtures, and putting our overhead lighting on occupancy detecting switches. $300+ a month is a lot of beer and pizza! It's kinda shocking when you realize that we were basicly wasting 3/5 of our energy. If other businesses did this we wouldn't be in an energy crunch in California like we have been. The ROI is ridiculously short, like a couple of months. I think we spent about $500 for everything.