Extra features are key to keeping

Extra features are key to keeping

Servers running mission-critical applications must have minimal downtime. That's why the features that accompany a symmetric multiprocessing Pentium III Xeon server are important.

In addition to a redundant array of independent disks with hot-swappable drives, mentioned in the accompanying story, there are several other high-availability features to consider in a server of this class. One important feature is redundant, hot-swappable power supplies. Typically, the server has three power supplies, with the third providing 30 percent of over-capacity, so it can be easily removed, while the other two stay up.

The third hot-swappable power supply is standard with some systems and optional for others.

Other high-availability items to consider include redundant Ethernet interface cards, hot-swappable cooling fans and PCI hot-plug technology. The latter option lets the user hot-plug a PCI peripheral device, such as a failed Ethernet card or SCSI RAID controller, without having to bring the server down.

Critical to any high-performance server are built-in monitoring features, which will alert an operator to actual or impending component failure. Most high-end server models offer extensive analysis on components inside the server to determine if they have a propensity to fail.

On alert

These monitoring systems, which in-volve both software and hardware'temperature probes, for instance'can generate network alerts or dial a pager to warn that a disk drive, processor, power supply or fan may need replacement.

A system is only as stable as its weakest link. Hot-swappable and monitoring features help shore up the areas where a system can run thin.

'Ted Drude

inside gcn

  • blockchain (Immersion Imagery/Shutterstock.com)

    DARPA eyes 'less-explored avenues' of blockchain

Reader Comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above