How the server looks like physically :
The basic architecture of this IBM server, generally: It consists of 2 Xeon Processors indicating multi-processor architecture. The individual RAM consisted of 512 MB. Total 8 RAM slots are present in the server.
Servers often have How-swappable architecture which means we can swap some components when the server is online and running, on the go! Without the need to turn off the server and interrupt it’s work. It is really useful to replace faulty components and to avoid fatal circumstances.
Hot-Swappable things in this server include :
- Hard Disk Drives
- Power Supply (SMPS)
- Intel Xeon MP processors
- Different RAM Slots for both the processor.
- Observation showed that keeping symmetry for RAM shows good results.
- Different Heat sinks for both the processors.
Figure 3 – This is where the processor resides
Figure 2 – Processor
RAM of the server:-
Size – 512 MB (multiple RAM in single server)
Type – DDR2
Double data rate synchronous dynamic random-access memory (DDR SDRAM) is a class of memory integrated circuits used in computers. DDR SDRAM, also called DDR1 SDRAM, has been superseded by DDR2 SDRAM, DDR3 SDRAM and DDR4 SDRAM. None of its successors are forward or backward compatible with DDR1 SDRAM, meaning DDR2, DDR3, and DDR4 memory modules will not work in DDR1-equipped motherboards, and vice versa.
With data being transferred 64 bits at a time, DDR SDRAM gives a transfer rate (in bytes/s) of (memory bus clock rate) × 2 (for dual rate) × 64 (number of bits transferred) / 8 (number of bits/byte). Thus, with a bus frequency of 100 MHz, DDR SDRAM gives a maximum transfer rate of 1600 MB/s.
Nowadays, latest laptops come with DDR4 RAM as they are fast compared to the previous versions!
- Six 64-bit PCI-X slots1 — Two slots at 100 MHz or one slot at 133 MHz, four slots at 66 MHz.
Figure 4 – PCI-X Slots
- PCI-X, short for Peripheral Component Interconnect eXtended.
- It is a computer bus and expansion card standard that enhances the 32-bit PCI local bus for higher bandwidth demanded mostly by servers and workstations. It uses a modified protocol to support higher clock speeds (up to 133 MHz), but is otherwise similar in electrical implementation. PCI-X 2.0 added speeds up to 533 MHz, with a reduction in electrical signal levels.
- PCI-X is in fact fully specified for both 32- and 64-bit PCI connectors, and PCI-X 2.0 added a 16-bit variant for embedded applications.
- It has been replaced in modern designs by the similar-sounding PCI Express (officially abbreviated as PCIe), with a completely different connector and a very different logical design, being a single narrow but fast serial connection instead of a number of slower connections in parallel.
Hot-Swappable Power Supply
Figure 5 – Hot-Swappable Power Supply (Up and down)
Like we have our USB drives in our own Laptop/Desktop and we use it like Plug and play, these Hot-swappable Power Supply can be used in the same way without worrying about anything.
There are total 2 Power Supply in this unit which can be attached to make redundancy. When the Primary Fan stops working due to any reason, the Motherboard switches to the secondary Power Supply instantly and we can meanwhile replace the first Power Supply which is faulty with a new one. This makes the server less prone to fatal shutdowns of server which could lead to lots of loss of data and money both for a big company, if they are using this server!
Figure 6 – Heat Sink
- A heat sink(as shown in figure 6) is a passive heat exchanger that transfers the heat generated by an electronic or a mechanical device to a fluid medium, often air or a liquid coolant, where it is dissipated away from the device, thereby allowing regulation of the device’s temperature at optimal levels.
- In all types of computers, including servers like these, heat sinks are used to cool central processing units or graphics processors
- Heat sinks are used with high-power semiconductor devices such as power transistors and optoelectronics such as lasers and light emitting diodes (LEDs), where the heat dissipation ability of the component itself is insufficient to moderate its temperature!
- As shown in figure 7, there are total 6 fans in the current server. The number of fans vary from server to server.
- Helps in reducing the heat inside the server rapidly when the server gets too hot!
Figure 7 – Hot-swappable Fans
Motherboard, heart of a PC:
Figure 8 – Motherboard
Hard Disk Drive
- Used for storing information. Type of secondary storage. Capacity :80 GB. Nowdays, the size of a high-graphics game is nearly 50-70 GB! So the size of the modern HDD is minimum 1 GB! As this was old PC, 80 GB was large enough to hold it’s data.
Figure 9 – HDD
- Used for heat reduction inside the cabinet of a PC!
Figure 10 – FAN
SMPS (Switched Mode Power Supply)
- Capacity :80 GB. Nowdays, the size of a high-graphics game is nearly 50-70 GB! So the size of the modern HDD is minimum 1 GB! As this was old PC, 80 GB was large enough to hold it’s data.
- SMPS are used in many places in a computer. In a modern computer, there is a SMPS that takes rectified AC input from the wall, performs power factor correction and then converts the output into one or more lower voltage DC outputs.
Figure 11 – SMPS
We got to know about how Desktop and Server architecture are vastly different from one another. Also, we discovered all the components of Server, their redundancy and how they function together as a single unit. All this in a fun way as we had the chance to disassemble and assemble the server and the desktop unit on our own.