[Gllug] Bring Your Own Server

Bernard Peek bap at shrdlu.com
Sun Jun 12 12:53:36 UTC 2011

On 12/06/11 11:43, Krishna Birth wrote:
> I am not a techie and thus could any expert please say if there are
> any data centres in GB offering inexpensive, 'Bring Your Own Server'
> service with possibility to set up the India holy river water cooled
> PC into a server for hosting websites?  Sorry if this mailing list
> post is a bit different to the what you are used to.

John's reply mentions a 1U server and I think that needs some
explanation. To make the best use of the limited space in a server room
it's usual to mount servers in racks. This requires all of the computer
hardware to be installed in cases that can be mounted in these standard
19" wide racks. Ordinary desktop PCs take up far too much space and
colocation sites charge you based on the amount of space your systems
take up.

In 19" racks equipment is designed to use multiples of a standard unit
of height, 1.75". So a 1U server is 1.75 inches high by 19 inches wide
by up to a metre in depth. A 2U server is the same width and depth but
3.5 inches high. Typical servers are 1U, 2U or 4U high. The colo centre
will charge you for each 'U' you use.

In order to fit the maximum amount of hardware into the minimum amount
of space the server manufacturers use the same type of miniaturisation
techniques that laptop manufacturers use. That means that ordinary
water-cooling equipment is unlikely to fit into a 1U case. A second
issue is that colo space is packed tightly with equipment owned by other
organisations who might be unhappy about having water-cooled equipment
in the same rack. So it might be difficult to get a colo centre to
accept your non-standard hardware.

There is an interesting possibility though. Would it be possible to
build a colo centre on the banks of the holy river and to cool all of
its servers with river water. Others who share your philosophy may be
willing to pay a little extra to get their web sites hosted in such a

So the answer to your question is that yes what you ask for is
technically possible but the problems with getting the idea implemented
are not technical in nature. 

Bernard Peek
bap at shrdlu.com

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