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Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Reducing Power Consumption of a Redundant Power System Utilizing Sleep Power Consumption Considerations for...

July 15, 2014



Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Reducing Power Consumption of a Redundant Power System Utilizing Sleep Power Consumption Considerations for Power Supply Units within the Redundant Power System

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Information Technology Newsweekly -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors Breen, John J. (Round Rock, TX); Muccini, Mark A. (Georgetown, TX); Cook, Wayne Kenneth (Round Rock, TX), filed on December 21, 2012, was made available online on July 3, 2014.

The patent's assignee is Dell Products L.p.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present disclosure generally relates to a redundant power system used to supply power to an information handling system, and more particularly to a system and method for reducing power consumption when selectively putting one or more individual power supply units (PSUs) of a redundant power system to sleep.

"As the value and use of information continue to increase, individuals and businesses seek additional ways to process and store information. One option available to users is information handling systems. An information handling system generally processes, compiles, stores, and/or communicates information or data for business, personal, or other purposes thereby allowing users to take advantage of the value of the information. Because technology and information handling needs and requirements vary between different users or applications, information handling systems may also vary regarding what information is handled, how the information is handled, how much information is processed, stored, or communicated, and how quickly and efficiently the information may be processed, stored, or communicated. The variations in information handling systems allow for information handling systems to be general or configured for a specific user or specific use such as financial transaction processing, airline reservations, enterprise data storage, or global communications. In addition, information handling systems may include a variety of hardware and software components that may be configured to process, store, and communicate information and may include one or more computer systems, data storage systems, and networking systems.

"An information handling system (IHS), such as a computer server or a blade server system, often utilizes a redundant power system to achieve uninterrupted and reliable supply of power. With a redundant power system (RPS), there are at least two power supply units (PSUs) working in concert to collectively provide uninterrupted power to an IHS. Occasionally, for an RPS having two PSUs, there are circumstances under which one PSU supplies power to the IHS while the other PSU is put into the 'hot spare' state. The 'hot spare' state refers to a state where the PSU is disabled from actively supplying power by being put into a sleep mode, while remaining in readiness to supply power without any startup delay when required. Thus, in an RPS having two PSUs, if one PSU is detected as failed, the other PSU maintained in the 'hot spare' state can pick up where the failed PSU left off by supplying power without any delay, thereby enabling the IHS to receive uninterrupted power.

"In the conventional approach to a PSU shutoff situation, the PSU having the lower or lowest power efficiency is automatically selected to be shut off. The conventional approach, however, overlooks the fact that when a PSU is disabled by being put into the 'hot spare' state, the disabled PSU still consumes power in order to be held in readiness to supply power. As a result, selecting the one PSU to disable by using the conventional approach at times results in system power consumption higher than what would have resulted if the other PSU was selected for disabling.

"Accordingly, aspects of the disclosure recognize that, in order to truly minimize the overall power consumption of the RPS in a PSU-shutoff situation, there is a need for a different approach than the aforementioned conventional approach of automatically selecting the PSU with the lower power efficiency to disable."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "Disclosed is a system and method for reducing overall power consumption by a redundant power system (RPS) having a plurality of power supply units (PSUs). The disclosed system and method provides better system power consumption by taking into consideration each PSU's sleep power consumption during a selection of one or more PSUs to be placed into a 'hot spare' sleep mode. For each PSU, power efficiency data at different load ratings are measured and stored therein. During the PSU selection, calculation of system power consumption is conducted on each of several configurations where a different PSU is hypothetically disabled. Each calculation takes into consideration both the sleep power consumption of a disabled PSU and power efficiency data of an enabled PSU. Selection of one or more PSUs is determined according to the configuration yielding the lower or the lowest system input power consumption based on the calculations.

"One aspect of the disclosure provides a method of reducing power consumption of an RPS having a plurality of PSUs to supply power to a load, such as an information handling system. The method comprises: receiving operational data for each PSU, including a current load rating, efficiency data for a set of load ratings, and sleep power consumption data. The method further includes: computing a system power consumption for each of a plurality of configurations, where at least one different PSU is hypothetically disabled from supplying power while each remaining PSU is hypothetically enabled to supply power required for the load, each computation taking into consideration the sleep power consumption data of the hypothetically disabled at least one PSU. The method also includes: comparing a resulting plurality of computed system power consumptions to identify which specific configuration of the plurality of configurations yields a lowest system power consumption; and in response to a determination that system power consumption can be reduced by implementing the specific configuration while providing a required supply power to the load, implementing the specific configuration of the PSUs within the RPS. The at least one PSU is disabled, while the remaining PSUs are enabled. In one or more embodiments, the method includes triggering the computing and comparing processes in response to detection of a hot spare condition within the RPS. The specific configuration is implemented while a present operating condition of the RPS remains the hot spare condition.

"According to another aspect, disclosed is a system for reducing power consumption. The system comprises: a redundant power system having a plurality of power supply units (PSUs) supplying power to a load; and a PSU selector communicatively coupled to at least two of the plurality of the PSUs and configured to selectively disable at least one PSU from the plurality of PSUs in order to reduce system power consumption in connection with supplying power to the load. Accordingly, the PSU selector: receives operational data for each PSU, including a current load rating, efficiency data for a set of load ratings, and sleep power consumption data; and computes a system power consumption for each of a plurality of configurations, where at least one different PSU is hypothetically disabled from supplying power while each remaining PSU is hypothetically enabled to supply power required for the load, each computation taking into consideration the sleep power consumption data of the hypothetically disabled at least one PSU. Then, the PSU selector: compares a resulting plurality of computed system power consumptions to identify which specific configuration of the plurality of configurations yields a lowest system power consumption; and in response to a determination that system power consumption can be reduced by implementing the specific configuration while providing a required supply power to the load, implements the specific configuration of the PSUs within the RPS. The at least one PSU is disabled, while the remaining PSUs are enabled. In one or more embodiments, the PSU selector performs the computing and comparing processes in response to detection of a hot spare condition within the RPS. The specific configuration is implemented while a present operating condition of the RPS remains the hot spare condition.

"According to yet another aspect, disclosed is an information handling system comprising a processor, a power system and a memory. The power system has a plurality of power supply units (PSUs) operated to supply power to the information handling system and a power management controller (PMC) communicatively coupled to the processor. The memory has power management code which, when executed by the processor, causes the processor to configure the PMC to selectively disable at least one PSU from the plurality of PSUs in order to reduce system power consumption in connection with supplying power to the information handling system. The processor operates in tandem with the PMC to: receive operational data for each PSU, including a current load rating, efficiency data for a set of load ratings, and sleep power consumption data; and compute a system power consumption for each of a plurality of configurations, where at least one different PSU is hypothetically disabled from supplying power while each remaining PSU is hypothetically enabled to supply power required for the load, each computation taking into consideration the sleep power consumption data of the hypothetically disabled at least one PSU. The processor and PMC further: compare a resulting plurality of computed system power consumptions to identify which specific configuration of the plurality of configurations yields a lowest system power consumption; and in response to a determination that system power consumption can be reduced by implementing the specific configuration while providing a required supply power to the load, implement the specific configuration of the PSUs within the RPS. The at least one PSU is disabled, while the remaining PSUs are enabled. In one or more embodiments, the processor performs the computing and comparing processes in response to detection of a hot spare condition within the RPS. The specific configuration is implemented while a present operating condition of the RPS remains the hot spare condition.

"The above summary contains simplifications, generalizations and omissions of detail and is not intended as a comprehensive description of the claimed subject matter but, rather, is intended to provide a brief overview of some of the functionality associated therewith. Other systems, methods, functionality, features and advantages of the claimed subject matter will be or will become apparent to one with skill in the art upon examination of the following figures and detailed written description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"The description of the illustrative embodiments can be read in conjunction with the accompanying figures. It will be appreciated that for simplicity and clarity of illustration, elements illustrated in the figures have not necessarily been drawn to scale. For example, the dimensions of some of the elements are exaggerated relative to other elements. Embodiments incorporating teachings of the present disclosure are shown and described with respect to the figures presented herein, in which:

"FIG. 1 is a block diagram illustrating an example information handling system and a redundant power system to which the present disclosure is applicable, according to one embodiment;

"FIG. 2 is a block diagram illustrating an exemplary redundant power supply configuration, according to one or more embodiments of the present disclosure;

"FIG. 3A is a flowchart illustrating an initial data-setup process for power supply units (PSUs), according to one or more embodiments of the present disclosure;

"FIG. 3B shows a table illustrating exemplary data measured and stored during the initial data-setup process of FIG. 3A, according to one or more embodiments of the present disclosure;

"FIG. 4 is a flowchart illustrating an exemplary process of selecting a PSU for disabling in a PSU shutoff situation, according to one or more embodiments of the present disclosure;

"FIG. 5 provides a set of tables illustrating examples of how, in a PSU shutoff situation, a disclosed PSU-selection method provides better power consumption, according to one or more embodiments of the present disclosure;

"FIG. 6 is a flow chart illustrating one exemplary method of performing the process of FIG. 4 within a redundant power system having more than 2 PSUs, according to one embodiment; and

"FIG. 7 is a graphical chart with accompanying table illustrating example PSU efficiency ratings based on applied load, according to one embodiment."

For additional information on this patent application, see: Breen, John J.; Muccini, Mark A.; Cook, Wayne Kenneth. Reducing Power Consumption of a Redundant Power System Utilizing Sleep Power Consumption Considerations for Power Supply Units within the Redundant Power System. Filed December 21, 2012 and posted July 3, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=494&p=10&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140626.PD.&OS=PD/20140626&RS=PD/20140626

Keywords for this news article include: Dell Products L.p., Information Technology, Information and Data Storage.

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Source: Information Technology Newsweekly


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