According to Techworld, a new high-end server from NEC includes a battery pack that can supply backup power. NEC says that it eliminates the need for an external uninterruptible power supply (UPS) in data centres.
The new rack-mounted server is part of NEC's main Express5800 line. According to Techworld, the one battery pack supplied can deliver 100 watts for six minutes and 40 seconds - 15 minutes and 30 seconds if a second battery pack is added. The two power packs can keep the server going for 3 minutes and 40 seconds running at its maximum 311 watts.
NEC’s view is that with an internal battery the servers can do away with an external UPS and save space in the data centre. Eliminating the UPS also reduces the number of times electricity is converted from AC to DC, reducing power wastage.
The server is available in Japan, but there is no date for international sales.
Review: It sounds like a good idea, in principle, and NEC isn’t the first to think of it - Techworld points out that Google did the same thing in 2009 for its own server specifications. The flaw is that there is more than just servers connected to a data centre UPS. It covers storage, network and communications equipment and other devices.
There are potential power savings to be made from doing away with UPS systems, but to do so the use of these servers would have to be taken into consideration when the data centre is initially designed. For most existing facilities the mixture of equipment would mean that to use a server with a battery is just manufacturing a battery that’s never likely to be used.
That’s not to say that it’s not a good idea, just that it will need manufacturers of a variety of equipment to follow suit before it makes any difference to existing data centres.