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1. CA2653817 - MODULAR COMPUTING ENVIRONMENTS

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[ EN ]
CLAIMS:
1. A computer system comprising:
a connecting hub having a plurality of docking regions and configured to provide to each docking region electrical power, a data network interface, a cooling fluid supply and a cooling fluid return; and
a plurality of shipping containers, each shipping container enclosing a modular computing environment that adds a predetermined amount of computing power to the computer system, each shipping container having a) a plurality of
processing units that are coupled to the data network interface; b) a heat exchanger configured to remove heat generated by the plurality of processing units from the shipping container by circulating cooling fluid from the cooling fluid supply through the heat exchanger and discharging heated cooling fluid into the cooling fluid return; and c) docking members configured to releaseably connect to the connecting hub at one of the plurality of docking regions to receive electrical power, connect to the data network interface, receive cooling fluid from the cooling fluid supply, and discharge return cooling fluid to the cooling fluid return.
2. The computer system of claim 1, where each processing unit comprises at least one storage device.
3. The computer system of claim 1 or 2, where the docking members comprise quick-connect docking members.
4. The computer system of any one of claims 1 to 3, where the connecting hub comprises a spine.
5. The computer system of any one of claims 1 to 3, where the connecting hub comprises a ring.
6. The computer system of any one of claims 1 to 5, where the plurality of processing units receive power from the connecting hub and receive data from a
network coupled to the data network interface, process the received data and transmit the processed data to the network via the data network interface, where each shipping container further comprises an air recirculating system that draws air from a cold air plenum adjacent to a plurality of racks containing the processing units, across the plurality of processing units, and into a warm air plenum; where the heat exchanger cools air from the warm air plenum and discharges the cooled air into the cold air plenum.
7. The computer system of claim 6, where the air recirculating system comprises a first set of fans and a second set of fans, each fan in the first set being disposed on one of the plurality of processing units, each fan in the second set being disposed adjacent to the heat exchanger.
8. The computer system of claim 1, further comprising a facility-level cooling system coupled to the cooling fluid supply and cooling fluid return, and configured to remove heat from cooling fluid in the cooling fluid return.
9. The computer system of any one of claims 1 to 8, where at least two of the plurality of shipping containers are standard size shipping containers.
10. The computer system of claim 9, where the standard size is one of a 1AAA or a 1CC shipping container.
11. A modular data center comprising:
a connecting hub having a plurality of docking regions and configured to provide to each docking region electrical power, a data network interface, a cooling fluid supply and a cooling fluid return; and
a plurality of shipping containers, each shipping container enclosing a modular computing environment having a plurality of computing devices that
collectively add a predetermined amount of computing power to the modular data
center, each container having a) a first heat exchange circuit configured to transfer heat from the computing devices to a heat exchanger; b) a second heat exchange
circuit comprising the heat exchanger, the cooling fluid supply and cooling fluid return, the second heat exchange circuit being configured to transfer heat from the heat exchanger inside of the container to a system outside of the container via cooling fluid in the cooling fluid supply and cooling fluid return; and c) docking members that releaseably connect to the connecting hub at one of the plurality of docking regions to receive electrical power, connect to the data network interface, receive cooling fluid from the cooling fluid supply, and discharge return cooling fluid to the cooling fluid return.
12. The modular data center of claim 11, where each modular computing environment comprises a) a plurality of microprocessor boards that receive power from the connecting hub and receive data from a network coupled to the data network interface, process the received data and transmit the processed data to the network via the data network interface; b) an air recirculating system that draws air from a cold air plenum adjacent to a plurality of racks, across the plurality of microprocessor boards, and into a warm air plenum; where the heat exchanger cools air from the warm air plenum and discharges the cooled air into the cold air plenum.
13. The modular data center of claim 11 or 12, where the modular computing environment is configured to accommodate human occupancy.
14. The modular data center of any one of claims 11 to 13, where the modular computing environment includes a fire and smoke detection system and a
fire suppression system.
15. The modular data center of claim 12, where the air recirculating system comprises a first set of fans and a second set of fans, each fan in the first set being disposed on one of the plurality of microprocessor boards, each fan in the second set being disposed adjacent to the heat exchanger.
16. The modular data center of claim 15, where adjacent fans in the second set are supplied by electrical power from different electrical circuits.
17. The modular data center of claim 15 or 16, further comprising a duct disposed between the heat exchanger and at least a first fan and a second fan in the second set, the duct fluidly coupling a region adjacent to the first fan and a region adjacent to the second fan.
18. The modular data center of any one of claims 11 to 17, where the plurality of microprocessor boards are disposed in racks that are suspended from a ceiling of a corresponding shipping container.
19. The modular data center of any one of claims 11 to 18, where at least one of the plurality of shipping containers is stacked on top of another one of the plurality of shipping containers.
20. The modular data center of claim 11, further comprising a facility-level cooling system that is disposed in the second heat exchange circuit, coupled to the cooling fluid supply and cooling fluid return, and configured to remove heat from cooling fluid in the cooling fluid return.
21. The modular data center of any one of claims 11 to 20, where each shipping container is sealed against environmental elements of wind and moisture.
22. The modular data center of any one of claims 11 to 21, further comprising a normally sealed drain configured to open when in contact with an appreciable amount of liquid.
23. The modular data center of any one of claims 11 to 22, where at least two of the plurality of shipping containers are standard size shipping containers.
24. The modular data center of claim 23, where the standard size is a 1AAA shipping container.
25. The modular data center of claim 23, where the standard size is a 1 CC shipping container.
26. The modular data center of any one of claims 11 to 25, where the connecting hub comprises one of a spine or a ring.
27. A method of deploying a modular data center comprising:
providing a cooling system configured to provide cooling fluid to various cooling devices, receive return cooling fluid from the various cooling devices and remove heat from the received return cooling fluid;
providing an electrical power source; providing a data communication interface,
routing electrical power from the electrical power source, a connection to the data communication interface, and a cooling fluid supply and a cooling fluid return from the cooling system to a plurality of docking regions that each has stubs that are configured to couple the electrical power, the cooling fluid supply, the cooling fluid return, and the data communication interface connection to a modular computing environment enclosed in a shipping container;
disposing modular computing environments at at least two of the plurality of docking regions, each modular computing environment configured to
incrementally add computing power to a data center and including a plurality of computing resources and integrated cooling devices; and
coupling each modular computing environment at a corresponding docking region to the stubs to provide electrical power, cooling fluid supply and cooling fluid return, and connection to the data communication interface to the modular computing environment.