(19)
(11)EP 3 697 183 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
14.04.2021 Bulletin 2021/15

(21)Application number: 19315006.7

(22)Date of filing:  13.02.2019
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
H05K 7/14(2006.01)

(54)

RACK ADAPTED FOR RECEIVING A COMPONENT, SYSTEM INCLUDING THE RACK AND THE COMPONENT AND METHOD OF DELIVERING POWER TO A COMPONENT MOUNTED IN A RACK

GESTELL ZUR AUFNAHME EINER KOMPONENTE, SYSTEM MIT DEM GESTELL UND DER KOMPONENTE UND VERFAHREN ZUR STROMVERSORGUNG EINER IN EINEM GESTELL MONTIERTEN KOMPONENTE

RACK ADAPTÉ POUR RECEVOIR UN COMPOSANT, SYSTÈME COMPRENANT LE RACK ET LE COMPOSANT ET PROCÉDÉ DE DISTRIBUTION D'ÉNERGIE À UN COMPOSANT MONTÉ DANS UN RACK


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(43)Date of publication of application:
19.08.2020 Bulletin 2020/34

(73)Proprietor: OVH
59100 Roubaix (FR)

(72)Inventor:
  • Thibaut, Christophe Maurice
    59263 Houplin Ancoisne (FR)

(74)Representative: BCF Global 
Centre d'Entreprise et d'Innovation 56, Bd Niels Bohr CS 52132
69603 Villeurbanne Cedex
69603 Villeurbanne Cedex (FR)


(56)References cited: : 
US-A1- 2006 203 460
US-A1- 2013 102 237
US-A1- 2017 164 500
US-A1- 2011 289 327
US-A1- 2014 277 784
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    FIELD



    [0001] The present technology relates to enclosures adapted to receive and provide power to electronic equipment. In particular, a rack adapted for receiving a component, a system including the rack and the component and a method of delivering power to a component mounted in a rack are disclosed.

    BACKGROUND



    [0002] Electronic devices, for example servers, memory banks, computer discs, and the like, are conventionally mounted one above the other in equipment racks. Some components, for example motherboards, have non-standard form factors and are smaller than conventional rack components. These components cannot be mounted in standard racks without proper adaptation. Various cables are connected to each component inserted in a rack. Some cables carry input and/or output data and signalling. Other cables provide electrical power to the components, in AC or DC form, according to the needs of a particular component. Conventionally, these cables are mounted on the front of the rack, i.e. on the front of the components. In a large rack, the number of cables may be high and lead to potential installation errors or maintenance errors.

    [0003] These problems are particularly significant in large data centers that may contain thousands or even tens of thousands of servers. New servers may be added on a daily basis. Some servers may fail and need to be replaced from time to time. Complex cabling, variability of power requirements and variability of component sizes cause difficulties in the provisioning and maintenance of large data centers. Installation and removal of components in equipment racks is a daily routine task for operators. Care must be taken to properly align components within equipment racks. When installed in haste, components may be improperly aligned in their racks, leading to equipment failure or to bad electrical and/or data connections. Consequently, installation of components in equipment racks is a delicate and time-consuming operation.

    [0004] The racks, including equipment mounted in their backplanes, consume large amounts of electric power and generate significant amounts of heat. Cooling needs are important in such racks. Water-cooling may be used, but is difficult to provision in an efficient way. The need for hydraulic connections to be fully watertight is self-evident given the presence of electronic equipment.

    [0005] Improvements are still desirable in the maintenance and provisioning of large data centers.

    [0006] The subject matter discussed in the background section should not be assumed to be prior art merely as a result of its mention in the background section. Similarly, a problem mentioned in the background section or associated with the subject matter of the background section should not be assumed to have been previously recognized in the prior art. The subject matter in the background section merely represents different approaches.

    [0007] US 2011/0289327 A1 discloses a fixed chassis power budget being dynamically allocated to a plurality of servers inserted into a multi-server chassis. An inserted server is inventoried by sequentially identifying server components, categorically-defined component power limits, and actual component power requirements of the inventoried components. A power permission is granted to the inserted server prior to completion of the inventory, based on power-related information inferred from a chassis and server specification or from the inventoried components.

    [0008] US 2014/0277784 A1 discloses a rack management method and system. The presence of a computing device releasably mounted in a frame is detected based on an electrical connection established between a configuration bar disposed in a rear portion of the frame and the computing device. A physical location of the computing device within the frame is determined based on the electrical connection. Management information about the computing device is retrieved from a profile storage disposed within the computing device via the electrical connection. The management information is stored in a management table that associates the computing device with the physical location within the frame.

    SUMMARY



    [0009] Embodiments of the present technology have been developed based on developers' appreciation of shortcomings associated with the prior art.

    [0010] In particular, such shortcomings may comprise (1) cabling complexity, (2) variability of electrical power requirements, and/or (3) variability of component form factors.

    [0011] The object of the invention is solved by a rack according to claim 1 and a method according to claim 10. Preferred embodiments are presented in the dependent claims.

    [0012] In the context of the present specification, unless expressly provided otherwise, a computer system may refer, but is not limited to, an "electronic device", an "operation system", a "system", a "computer-based system", a "controller unit", a "monitoring device", a "control device" and/or any combination thereof appropriate to the relevant task at hand.

    [0013] In the context of the present specification, unless expressly provided otherwise, the expression "computer-readable medium" and "memory" are intended to include media of any nature and kind whatsoever, non-limiting examples of which include RAM, ROM, disks (CD-ROMs, DVDs, floppy disks, hard disk drives, etc.), USB keys, flash memory cards, solid state-drives, and tape drives. Still in the context of the present specification, "a" computer-readable medium and "the" computer-readable medium should not be construed as being the same computer-readable medium. To the contrary, and whenever appropriate, "a" computer-readable medium and "the" computer-readable medium may also be construed as a first computer-readable medium and a second computer-readable medium.

    [0014] In the context of the present specification, unless expressly provided otherwise, the words "first", "second", "third", etc. have been used as adjectives only for the purpose of allowing for distinction between the nouns that they modify from one another, and not for the purpose of describing any particular relationship between those nouns.

    [0015] Implementations of the present technology each have at least one of the above-mentioned object and/or aspects, but do not necessarily have all of them. It should be understood that some aspects of the present technology that have resulted from attempting to attain the above-mentioned object may not satisfy this object and/or may satisfy other objects not specifically recited herein.

    [0016] Additional and/or alternative features, aspects and advantages of implementations of the present technology will become apparent from the following description, the accompanying drawings and the appended claims.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0017] For a better understanding of the present technology, as well as other aspects and further features thereof, reference is made to the following description which is to be used in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, where:

    Figure 1 is a perspective, exploded view of a rack in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology;

    Figure 2 is a perspective, detailed view of the rack of Figure 1 with a partially inserted component in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology;

    Figure 3 is a perspective, detailed view of the rack of Figure 1 with a fully inserted component in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology;

    Figure 4 is schematic top plan view of the rack of Figure 1 with a partially inserted component in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology;

    Figure 5 is schematic top plan view of the rack of Figure 1 with a fully inserted component in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology;

    Figure 6 is a top plan view of a variant of a component insertable in the rack of Figure 1, the component providing a fluidic connection for cooling purposes;

    Figure 7 is a perspective, detailed view of the component of Figure 6 partially inserted in a rack in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology;

    Figure 8 is a perspective, detailed view of the component of Figure 6 being substantially fully inserted in the rack in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology;

    Figure 9 is a perspective, detailed view of the component of Figure 6 being fully inserted and locked in the rack in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology;

    Figure 10 is a sequence diagram of a method of mounting a component in a rack in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology;

    Figure 11 is a block diagram showing backplane electrical components of the rack of Figure 1 in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology;

    Figure 12 is a schematic diagram of internal connections of the switch of Figure 11 in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology;

    Figure 13 is a sequence diagram of a method of mounting a non-standard-size component in a in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology;

    Figure 14 is a sequence diagram of a method of delivering power to a component mounted in a rack in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology;

    Figure 15 is a front perspective view of a system comprising another rack and at least one insertable component in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology;

    Figure 16 is a front perspective view taken from another angle of the rack of Figure 15 in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology;

    Figure 17 is a front elevation view of the rack of Figure 15 in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology;

    Figure 18 is a rear perspective view taken from another angle of the rack of Figure 15 in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology;

    Figure 19 is a detailed view of a connector mounted on a power panel;

    Figure 20 is a top view of the power panel in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology;

    Figure 21 is a schematic view of the power panel showing how smart breakers are connected thereto in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology;

    Figure 22 is a high-level schematic circuit diagram of a smart breaker in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology;

    Figure 23 is a front perspective view of a midplane in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology;

    Figure 24 is a rear perspective view of the midplane of Figure 23 in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology;

    Figure 25 is a detailed view of a backplane power connector mounted on a backplane;

    Figure 26 is a perspective detailed view showing a connection of the midplane to the backplane in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology;

    Figure 27 is a top plan detailed view showing a connection of the midplane to the backplane in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology;

    Figure 28 is a schematic view showing electrical and data connections between the midplane and the backplane in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology; and

    Figures 29A and 29B is a sequence diagram of a method of providing power to a component received in a rack in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology;



    [0018] It should also be noted that, unless otherwise explicitly specified herein, the drawings are not to scale.

    DETAILED DESCRIPTION



    [0019] The examples and conditional language recited herein are principally intended to aid the reader in understanding the principles of the present technology and not to limit its scope to such specifically recited examples and conditions. The scope of the invention is defined by the appended claims.

    [0020] Furthermore, as an aid to understanding, the following description may describe relatively simplified implementations of the present technology. As persons skilled in the art would understand, various implementations of the present technology may be of a greater complexity.

    [0021] In some cases, what are believed to be helpful examples of modifications to the present technology may also be set forth. This is done merely as an aid to understanding, and, again, not to define the scope or set forth the bounds of the present technology. These modifications are not an exhaustive list, and a person skilled in the art may make other modifications while nonetheless remaining within the scope of the present technology. Further, where no examples of modifications have been set forth, it should not be interpreted that no modifications are possible and/or that what is described is the sole manner of implementing that element of the present technology.

    [0022] Moreover, all statements herein reciting principles, aspects, and implementations of the present technology, as well as specific examples thereof, are intended to encompass both structural and functional equivalents thereof, whether they are currently known or developed in the future. Thus, for example, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that any block diagrams herein represent conceptual views of illustrative circuitry embodying the principles of the present technology. Similarly, it will be appreciated that any flowcharts, flow diagrams, state transition diagrams, pseudo-code, and the like represent various processes that may be substantially represented in computer-readable media and so executed by a computer or processor, whether or not such computer or processor is explicitly shown.

    [0023] The functions of the various elements shown in the figures, including any functional block labeled as a "processor", may be provided through the use of dedicated hardware as well as hardware capable of executing software in association with appropriate software. When provided by a processor, the functions may be provided by a single dedicated processor, by a single shared processor, or by a plurality of individual processors, some of which may be shared. In some embodiments of the present technology, the processor may be a general-purpose processor, such as a central processing unit (CPU) or a processor dedicated to a specific purpose, such as a digital signal processor (DSP). Moreover, explicit use of the term a "processor" should not be construed to refer exclusively to hardware capable of executing software, and may implicitly include, without limitation, application specific integrated circuit (ASIC), field programmable gate array (FPGA), read-only memory (ROM) for storing software, random access memory (RAM), and non-volatile storage. Other hardware, conventional and/or custom, may also be included.

    [0024] Software modules, or simply modules which are implied to be software, may be represented herein as any combination of flowchart elements or other elements indicating performance of process steps and/or textual description. Such modules may be executed by hardware that is expressly or implicitly shown. Moreover, it should be understood that module may include for example, but without being limitative, computer program logic, computer program instructions, software, stack, firmware, hardware circuitry or a combination thereof which provides the required capabilities.

    [0025] With these fundamentals in place, we will now consider some non-limiting examples to illustrate various implementations of aspects of the present technology.

    [0026] The present technology allows to efficiently mount equipment in a rack, including without limitation servers, data storage solutions, and the like. In at least one variant, fluidic connections may be included for the provision of liquid cooling. The present technology also allows to electrically connect, to protect, to monitor and to provide network connectivity to various types of equipment mounted in such racks. Power line communication (PLC) capabilities may also be provided to the equipment mounted in the rack.

    [0027] In one aspect, the present technology introduces a component insertable in a rack that includes a pair of female connectors that come in alignment with a pair of male connectors located in the backplane of the rack when the component is inserted. Small components having non-standard form factors are mounted on conventionally sized boards that provide interconnection between the small components and the male connectors as well as with any component located beyond the rack. The rack includes mechanical guides to generally locate the insertable components. The female connectors of a given insertable component and the male connectors in the backplane of the rack are positioned so that, in a first time when the given component is at least partially inserted in the rack and the rear end of the given component is placed near the backplane, precise mechanical alignment of the given component is provided by partial and then full insertion of the male connectors in the female connectors.

    [0028] In a second time, when the given component is fully inserted in the rack, the male connectors being fully inserted in the female connectors, AC or DC power is delivered to the given component via the connection between the male and female connectors. Electrical power is delivered via the backplane of the rack where the male connectors are located so the number of cables mounted at the front of the rack is reduced.

    [0029] In an embodiment, a plurality of pairs of male connectors are mounted in the backplane, each pair being vertically separated from a next pair by a typical height of the insertable components so that plural insertable components can be received in this manner in the rack and are powered in this manner. External logic may control initiation of the AC or DC power provision to the inserted components. Both AC and DC power can be supported in the same rack. The external logic may receive measurements (voltages, current, power, power phase) for the rack in view of providing statistical information about power consumption. It becomes possible to plan the evolution of power consumption as numerous racks and components are added. More male/female connectors may be used, for example for redundancy purposes.

    [0030] In the same or another embodiment, fluidic connections for the supply of liquid cooling in the backplane of the rack are provided. In addition to the above described rack and component, a liquid adaptor is mounted on the component. The liquid adaptor includes a feed port and a return port that are respectively meant for mating with an inlet port and an outlet port in the backplane of the rack. An elongate rod part of the liquid adaptor has an end section that penetrates in a slot of the backplane. Rotating the elongate rod locks the component in place against the backplane, within the rack. In a variant, the inlet and outlet ports may supplement the male adaptors and the feed and return ports may be provided in addition to the female adaptors. In another variant, the inlet and outlet ports may form one or both of the male adaptors and the feed and return ports may form one or both of the female adaptors.

    [0031] Another embodiment that may or may not integrate some of the above-described embodiments comprises a rack having a backplane, a power panel and a main controller. The backplane has a plurality of stages that each includes a power connector and a data connector. A component may be received in a stage of the rack so that its own power and data connectors come in contact with the power and data connectors of the corresponding backplane stage. The main controller is informed of the insertion of the component by the data connector of the backplane. The main controller also receives a set of power parameters of the component from the data connector of the backplane. The main controller causes the power panel to provide power to the backplane power connector of the backplane stage according to the set of power parameters of the component.

    [0032] In the present specification, the term rack should be understood as synonymous with enclosure, chassis, cabinet and similar terms. The term system may encompass a combination of elements, including without limitation a rack and a component inserted in the rack.

    [0033] Referring now to the drawings, Figure 1 is a perspective, exploded view of a rack 10 in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology. The rack 10 may for example be a 19-inch, standard-size rack having dimensions as defined in the EIA/ECA-310-E "Cabinets, Racks, Panels, And Associated Equipment" standard published by The Electronic Components Sector Of The Electronic Industries Alliance, December 2005. Figure 2 is a perspective, detailed view of the rack 10 of Figure 1 with a partially inserted component in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology. Figure 3 is a perspective, detailed view of the rack 10 of Figure 1 with a fully inserted component in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology. Referring at once to Figures 1, 2 and 3, the rack 10 comprises a backplane 12, a pair of side panels 14, 16 extending from the backplane 12, and support members 18, 20 mounted on each side panel 14, 16. Each support member 18, 20 is internal to the rack 10 and adapted to mate with a corresponding side edge 24, 26 of a component 22 that may be inserted in the rack 10. The component 22 is made of a main, standard-size board 28 on which a non-standard-size component (shown on later Figures) is mounted. The support members 18, 20 mechanically guide an initial alignment of the component 22 upon initial insertion of the component 22 in the rack 10. Two male connectors 30, 32 mounted to the backplane 12 are configured to mate with two female connectors 34, 36 supported by a secondary board 38 that, in turn, is mounted to the rear of the standard-size board 28 of the component 22. Mating of two male connectors 30, 32 with the two female connectors 34, 36 helps to mechanically guide a final alignment of the component 22 when the component is further inserted in the rack 10. Though not illustrated, an additional pair of male connectors may be mounted on the backplane 12 and an additional pair of female connectors may be mounted on the secondary board 38, or on another secondary board, for redundancy purposes.

    [0034] As illustrated, the two male connectors 30, 32 are defined in a plane parallel to the standard-size board 28 and perpendicular to the side panels 14, 18. Configurations in which two male connectors 30, 32 would be positioned vertically, one above the other, or defining an angle not parallel to a surface of the standard-size board 28, to mate with similarly positioned female connectors 34, 36, are also contemplated. As shown on Figure 1, the rack 10 defines a plurality of parallel stages 40, each respective stage 40 being adapted for receiving a respective component 22. Each respective stage 40 includes respective support members 18, 20 mounted to the side panels 14, 16. Each respective support member is internally positioned in the rack 10 and adapted to mate with a corresponding side edge 24, 26 of the respective component 22 to mechanically guide an initial alignment of the respective component 22 upon initial insertion of the respective component 22 in the respective stage 40. Each respective stage 40 also includes a respective set of two male connectors 30, 32 mounted in the backplane 12 and configured to mate with two female connectors 34, 36 of the respective component 22 to mechanically guide a final alignment of the respective component 22 when the respective component 22 is further inserted in the rack 10. Without limitation, a vertical spacing between each of the plurality of parallel stages 40 may correspond to a standard-size rack unit (RU or "U"), for example having a height of 1.75 inches, as defined in the EIA/ECA-310-E standard.

    [0035] The backplane 12 and the side panels 14 and 16 extend vertically and the support members 18, 20 are positioned so that each component 22 can be received in the rack 10 in a horizontal position. While the positioning of the backplane 12, side panels 14, 16 and components 22 complies with the conventional positioning of the EIA/ECA-310-E standard, the present disclosure is not so limited. For example, the side panels 14 and 16 could extend horizontally (becoming upper and lower panels), in which case the components 22 would extend vertically when received in the rack 10.

    [0036] Figure 4 is schematic top plan view of the rack 10 of Figure 1 with the partially inserted component 22 in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology. Figure 5 is schematic top plan view of the rack 10 of Figure 1 with the fully inserted component 22 in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology. Referring at once to Figures 4 and 5, one stage 40 is illustrated; it is however understood that the rack 10 may include a plurality of parallel stages 40, as illustrated in Figure 1, each parallel stage 40 being similarly constructed and including the same or equivalent respective elements as those shown on Figures 5 and 6.

    [0037] Figures 4 and 5 are not to scale. In particular, the size of lateral gaps 42, 44 between the side edges 24, 26 of the standard-size board 28 and internal faces 46, 48 of the side panels 14, 16 are exaggerated for illustration purposes. Relative dimensions of the male connectors 30, 32 and of the female connectors 34, 36 and spacing between the two male connectors 30, 32 or between the two female connectors 34, 36, in view of general dimensions of the rack 10 and of the standard-size board 28, do not necessarily reflect an actual implementation.

    [0038] Figures 4 and 5 reproduce several of the elements of Figures 1, 2 and 3 and further show a non-standard-size component 50 mounted on the standard-size board 28 of the component 22. The non-standard-size component 50 may include, without limitation, any electronic device or group of devices (not shown) that perform processing functions, data storage functions, and like functions adapted for the purposes of the rack 10. In some embodiments, the electronic device or group of devices may be mounted directly on the standard-size board 28. In an embodiment of the present technology, the component 22 is connected to a group 60 of electrical components mounted on the backplane 12. The group 60 and its electrical components are illustrated in details in a later Figure. Electrical supply to the component 22 may optionally be made via the male connectors 30, 32 and the female connectors 34, 36. A contactor 54 and a contactor 56 that are respectively mounted to the secondary board 38 and to the backplane 12 enable data communication between the component 22 and the group 60 of electrical components. In this embodiment, the non-standard-size component 50 is connected to the female connectors 34, 36 via electrical leads 52 and connected to the contactor 54 via a data connection 58. The electrical leads 52 and/or the data connection 58 may be implemented as wires or may be integrated at least in part within the board 28.

    [0039] In the embodiment of Figures 1 to 5, the female connectors 34, 36 mounted on the component 22 (either directly or being mounted on the secondary board 38) and the male connectors 30, 32 mounted on the backplane 12 facilitate the alignment of the component 22 when inserted in the rack 10. The male connectors 30, 32 and the female connectors 34, 36 may or may not support additional functions or features. In a variant of the present technology, additional connections between the component 22 and the backplane 12 are provided by fluidic ports for exchange of liquid (e.g. water) for cooling the rack 10 and, in particular but without limitation, for cooling equipment mounted behind the backplane 12. These ports include inlet and outlet ports mounted in the backplane 12, as well as feed and return ports that are part of a liquid connector mounted on the component 22.

    [0040] In a first embodiment, the inlet and outlet ports may double as male connectors 30, 32 and the feed and return ports may double as female connectors 34 and 36, in which case no other component may be used to facilitate the alignment of the component 22 in the backplane 12. In a second embodiment, the inlet and outlet ports may be used as substitutes for one of the male connectors 30, 32 and the feed and return ports may be used as substitutes for one of the female connectors 34, 36. In that second embodiment, the liquid connector (including the feed and return ports) is mounted on the component 22 at a distance from another female connector also mounted on the component 22 while the inlet and outlet ports are mounted on the backplane 12 at a distance from another male connector also mounted on the backplane 12. In these first and second embodiments, other electrical connections are provided between the component 22 and the backplane, as will be described hereinbelow. In a third embodiment, male and female connectors as illustrated in Figures 1 to 5 are present in addition to the liquid connector.

    [0041] Figure 6 is a top plan view of a variant of a component 22 insertable in the rack 10 of Figure 1, the component 22 providing a fluidic connection for cooling purposes. Figure 6 illustrates the above-mentioned, non-limiting first embodiment in which the inlet and outlet ports double as male connectors 30, 32 while the feed and return ports double as female connectors 34 and 36. In this variant, a male inlet port 62 and a male outlet port 64 are mounted on a section 66 of the backplane 12. The inlet port 62 is connected to a "cold" inlet tube 68 mounted behind the backplane 12 for distributing liquid, for example water, for cooling of equipment mounted in the rack 10. The liquid returns to the outlet port 64 via a "hot" outlet tube 70. A liquid adaptor 72 is mounted on the component 22, proximally to a rear edge 74 of the component 22. The liquid adaptor 72 comprises a female feed port 76, a female return port 78, and an elongate rod 80 that extends at one end between the feed and return ports 76, 78 and at another end to a front of the component 22. The feed port 76 and the return port 78 are respectively adapted for mating with the inlet port 62 and with the outlet port 64 when the component 22 is inserted in the rack 10. Operation of the elongate rod 80 is described hereinbelow. A "cold" feed tube 82 is connected to the feed port 72 and extends to the front of the component 22. A "hot" return tube 84 is connected to the return port 74 and also extends to the front end of the component 22. When the component 22 is fully installed, a cooling liquid may be injected via the feed tube 82 and reach the inlet tube the liquid returning to the return tube 84 via the outlet tube 70. 68

    [0042] Figure 7 is a perspective, detailed view of the component 22 of Figure 6 partially inserted in the rack 10 in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology. Figure 8 is a perspective, detailed view of the component 22 of Figure 6 being substantially fully inserted in the rack 10 in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology. Figure 9 is a perspective, detailed view of the component 22 of Figure 6 being fully inserted and locked in the rack 10 in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology. The various tubes of Figure 6 omitted on Figures 6 to 9 in order to simplify the illustration. Referring at once to Figures 6 to 9, an inlet port 62 and an outlet port 64 are mounted in each stage 40 on the section 66 of the backplane 12. A slot 86 is formed in each stage 40 of the backplane 12. Each slot 86 is proximal to a corresponding inlet port 62 and to a corresponding outlet port 64. The slot 86 located on a given stage 40 forms an attachment point for the liquid adaptor 72 located on a component 22 that is on the same stage 40 of the rack 10. As illustrated, a center of the inlet port 62, a center of the outlet port 64 and a center of the slot 86 on the same stage 40 generally form a flat triangle. The slot 86 may alternatively be positioned between the corresponding inlet and outlet ports 62, 64. The elongate rod 80 has lateral extensions 88, such as pins, on an end section 90 of the elongate rod 80 that protrudes beyond the rear edge 74 of the component 22, the feed port 76 and the return port 78.

    [0043] It may be noted that the pair formed by the inlet port 62 and the feed port 76 is interchangeable with the pair formed by the outlet port 64 and the return port 78. In fact, the hot and cold tubes may be connected to any one of the ports as long as consistency is maintained between these connections and a cooling system (not shown) of the rack 10.

    [0044] A front end 92 of the elongate rod 80 opposite from the end section 90 is configured for receiving a rotating motion from a connectable handle, a screwdriver, or like tool (not shown). The elongate rod 80 is rotated, for example manually, for aligning the lateral extensions 88 with the slot 86 prior to full insertion of the component 22 in the rack 10, substantially as illustrated on Figure 7. Figure 8 shows that the end section 90 and the lateral extensions 88 have been inserted via the slot 86 within the backplane 12. The elongate rod 80 has not yet been rotated further from its position on Figure 7, as evidenced by the orientation of pins 94 that remains unchanged between Figures 7 and 8. Figure 9 shows that the elongate rod 80 is rotated about a quarter of a turn, as evidenced by the different orientation of the pins 94. The rotation of the elongate rod 80 places the lateral extensions 88 out of alignment with the slot 86 after full insertion of the component 22 in the rack 10. This causes the lateral extensions 88 to abut on a face (not shown) of the backplane 12 opposite from the component 22 to maintain the liquid adaptor 72 in place. There may be a slight movement of the component 22 in relation to the backplane 12 between Figures 8 and 9, the liquid connector 72 and the rear edge 74 of the component 22 being brought slightly closer to the backplane 12 on Figure 9. This movement is caused by a pressure applied on the liquid connector 72 by the pins 94 when the lateral extensions 88 are slightly pulled inward of the backplane 12 by the rotation of the elongate rod 80, the lateral extensions 88 being forcefully entrained on the face of the backplane 12 opposite from the component 22. This movement has at least a double effect, in which the component 22 is held firmly in place in the rack 10 while, in addition, watertight connections are established between the inlet and feed ports 62, 76 and between the outlet and return ports 64, 78. It may be noted that seals (not shown) such as for example Teflon™ or rubber rings may be provided to prevent leakage at the connections between the various ports.

    [0045] In some applications, the connections of the female feed and return ports 76, 78 of the liquid connector 72 to the male inlet and outlet ports 62, 64 mounted on the section 66 of the backplane 12 may suffice to provide proper alignment of the component 22 in the rack 10. Alternatively, an embodiment of the rack 10 may include at once the male connectors 30, 32 and the female connectors 34, 36 as illustrated on Figure 1-5, along with the liquid connector 72 as illustrated on Figure 6. Another embodiment may include a single male connector 30 mounted on the backplane 12 and a single female connector 34 cooperating with the liquid connector 72 and the inlet and outlet ports 62, 64 to provide proper alignment of thee component 22 in the rack 10.

    [0046] Figure 10 is a sequence diagram of a method of mounting the non-standard-size component 50 in the rack 10 in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology. On Figure 10, a sequence 100 comprises a plurality of operations that may be executed in variable order, some of the operations possibly being executed concurrently, some of the operations being optional. In the sequence 100, operation 110 comprises mounting the two female connectors 34, 36 on a rear end of the component 22. In this operation 110, the two female connectors 34, 36 may be mounted directly on the component 22. Alternatively, operation 110 may comprise sub-operation 112 that includes mounting the two female connectors 34, 36 on a secondary board 38, and sub-operation 114 that includes mounting the secondary board 38 at the rear end of the main board 28 of the component 22. At operation 120, the two male connectors 30, 32 are mounted on the backplane 12 of the rack 10.

    [0047] At operation 130, the component 22 is inserted in the rack 10 until the two male connectors 30, 32 are received in the two female connectors 34, 36. If at least one of the two male connectors 30, 32 comprises the inlet and outlet ports 62, 64, in which case a corresponding at least one of the two female connectors 34, 36 comprises the feed and return ports 76, 78, operation 130 may comprise sub-operations 132, 134 and 136. At sub-operation 132, the lateral extensions 88 of the elongate rod 80 are substantially aligned with the slot 86 formed on the backplane 12. At sub-operation 134, the component 22 is inserted in the rack 10 until the end section 90 of the elongate rod 80 is inserted in the backplane 12. At sub-operation 136, after full insertion of the component 22 in the rack 10, the elongate rod 80 is rotated for placing the lateral extensions 88 out of alignment with the slot 86 to cause the lateral extensions to abut on the face of the backplane 12 opposite from the component 22 to maintain the component 22 inserted in the rack 10.

    [0048] The group 60 of electrical components introduced in the foregoing description of Figures 4 and 5 is illustrated in details on Figure 11, which is a block diagram showing backplane electrical components 60 of the rack 10 of Figure 1 in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology. The group 60 comprises an AC power source 162, DC power source 164, a switch 166, a controller 168 and a protection circuit 170. The AC power source 162 is connected to the switch 166 via a line connection 172 and a neutral connection 174. The DC power source 164 is connected to the switch 166 via a positive connection 176 and a negative connection 178. The switch 166 has two (2) outputs 180 and 182 that are respectively connected via the protection circuit 170 to the male connectors 30, 32.

    [0049] The protection circuit 170 includes a sensor 188 of a level of power delivered from the backplane 12 to the component 22 and a breaker 190 operatively connected to the sensor and selectively connecting the switch 166 to the two male connectors 30, 32. The sensor 188 may comprise a power meter to directly measure the level of power delivered to the component 22 or an ammeter to measure a current delivered to the component 22. The breaker 190 disconnects leads 192, 194 that extend between the outputs 180, 182 of the switch 166 and the male connectors 30, 32 to interrupt the delivery of power to the component 22 when the sensor 188 senses that the power level exceeds a high power threshold or, equivalently, when the sensor 188 senses that the current delivered to the component 22 exceeds a high current threshold. The breaker 190 may resume the delivery of power to the component 22 in response to receiving, after interruption of the delivery of power to the component 22, a rearm command 196 from the controller 168.

    [0050] In an embodiment, when the component 22 is partially inserted in the rack 10, an initial contact is established between at least one of the two male connectors 30, 32 and at least one of two female connectors 34, 36. Electrical conductivity between the male and female connectors may be detected and reported to the controller 168. The controller 168 may detect an electrical continuity between the male connectors 30, 32, the female connectors 34, 36 and any part of the component 22. The at least one of the two male connectors 30, 32 and the at least one of two female connectors 34, 36 may thus form a detector of the initial contact. When the component 22 is fully inserted in the rack 10, the contactors 54 and 56 come in contact with one another to allow data communication between the non-standard-size component 50 and electrical components in the backplane 12. As the contactors 54 and 56 come in contact, they may form a detector of a full insertion of the two male connectors 30, 32 in the two female connectors 34, 36. The full insertion detected by the contactors 54 and 56 is reported to the controller 168. In response to the detection of the full insertion, the controller causes the switch 166 to allow either the AC power source 162 or the DC power source 164 to start delivering power to the component 22 inserted in the rack 10 via electrical connections established between the two male connectors 30, 32 and the two female connectors 34, 36 of the component inserted 22 in the rack 10.

    [0051] AC or DC power delivery is selected in response to information provided upon detection of the initial contact between the male connectors 30 and 32, and the female connectors 34, 36, or by the contactors 54 and 56, when they detect further insertion of the component 22 in the rack 10. A type of the non-standard-size component 50 is detected. In a first variant, the controller 168 may read this type via the male connectors 30, 32, the female connectors 34, 36 and the leads 52 connecting the female connectors 34, 36 to the non-standard-size component 50. In a second variant, the controller 168 may read this type via the contactors 54, 56 and the data connection 58 between the contactor 54 and the non-standard-size component 50. The type may be stored in an electrically-erasable programmable read-only memory (EEPROM) (not shown) mounted on the non-standard-size component 50. In either variant, these connections allow the controller 168 to determine, based on the detected type, whether the non-standard-size component 50 requires AC or DC power. Also in either variant, these connections allow the controller 168 to read a required polarity of the non-standard-size component 50 when the non-standard-size component 50 requires DC power or identifications of a line input and of a neutral input of the non-standard-size component 50 when the non-standard-size component 50 requires AC power.

    [0052] When the non-standard-size component 50 requires DC power, the controller 168 causes the switch 166 to connect one of the two male connectors 30, 32 to the positive connection 176 of the DC power source 164 and to connect the other of the two male connectors 30, 32 to the negative connection 178 of the DC power source 64. Which one of the two male connectors 30, 32 is connected to the positive connection 176 or to the negative connection 178 of the DC power source 164 is selected in view of the required polarity of the non-standard-size component 50. When the non-standard-size component 50 requires AC power, the controller 168 causes the switch 166 to connect one of the two male connectors 30, 32 to the line connection 172 of the AC power source 162 and to connect the other of the two male connectors 30, 32 to the neutral connection 174 of the AC power source 162. Which one of the two male connectors 30, 32 is connected to the line connection 172 or to the neutral connection 174 of the AC power source 162 is selected in view of the line and neutral inputs of the non-standard-size component 50.

    [0053] Figure 12 is a schematic diagram of internal connections of the switch 166 of Figure 11 in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology. The switch 166 is controlled by the controller 168 and includes internal commutators 184 that can connect any one of the line connection 172, the neutral connection 174, the positive connection 176 and the negative connection 178 to any one of the outputs 180, 182. The controller1 68 or an internal logic of the switch 166 ensures that no unsafe combination of the internal commutators 184 is made within the switch 166.

    [0054] Figure 13 is a sequence diagram of a method of mounting a non-standard-size component 50 in the rack 10 in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology. On Figure 13, a sequence 200 comprises a plurality of operations that may be executed in variable order, some of the operations possibly being executed concurrently, some of the operations being optional. In the sequence 200, operation 210 comprises mounting the non-standard-size component 50 on the standard-size board 28. The two female connectors 34, 36 are mounted on a rear end of the standard-size board 28 at operation 220. In this operation 220, the two female connectors 34, 36 may be mounted directly on the standard-size board 28. Alternatively, operation 220 may comprise sub-operation 222 comprising mounting the two female connectors 34, 36 on the secondary board 38 and sub-operation 224 comprising mounting the secondary board 38 at the rear end of the standard-size board 28. At operation 230, the two male connectors 30, 32 are mounted on the backplane 12 of the rack 10. Electrical connections 52 may be provided at operation 240 between the non-standard-size component 50 and each of the two female connectors 34, 36. Likewise, the data connection 58 may be provided between the non-standard-size component 50 and the connector 54 mounted to the standard-size board 28 or to the secondary board 38 at operation 250.

    [0055] At operation 260, the standard-size board 28 is inserted in the rack 10 until the two male connectors 30, 32 are received in the two female connectors 34, 36. An electrical connection may then be provided between each of the two female connectors 34, 36 and a corresponding one of the two male connectors 30, 32 at operation 270. Likewise, a data connection may be provided between the backplane 12 and the connector 54 mounted to the standard-size board 28 or to the secondary board 38 at operation 280.

    [0056] Figure 14 is a sequence diagram of a method of delivering power to a component mounted in a rack in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology. On Figure 14, a sequence 300 comprises a plurality of operations that may be executed in variable order, some of the operations possibly being executed concurrently, some of the operations being optional. In the sequence 300, operation 310 comprises detecting an initial contact established between at least one of the male connectors 30, 32 mounted to the backplane 12 of the rack 10 and at least one of the female connectors 34, 36 of the component 22. This operation 310 takes place following initial insertion of the component 22 in the rack 10. The at least one of the two male connectors 30, 32 and the at least one of the two female connectors 34, 36 are used in detecting the initial contact at operation 310, for example by reporting to the controller 168 a detected electrical continuity between the backplane 12 and the component 22. The two male connectors 30, 32 and the two female connectors 34, 36 are sized and configured to mechanically guide an alignment of the component 22 in the rack 10 following the initial contact. Subsequent to the initial contact, a full insertion of the two male connectors 30, 32 in the two female connectors 34, 36 is detected at operation 320. Detection of the full insertion may be effected when the contactors 54 and 56 are joined and reported to the controller 168.

    [0057] A type of the component 22 inserted in the rack 10, more specifically a type of the non-standard-size component 50, may be detected at operation 330. This operation 330 may be omitted, for example, in an embodiment where all components 22 in the rack 10 are of the same type, all of them requiring AC power or DC power.

    [0058] Responsive to detecting the full insertion of the two male connectors 30, 32 in the two female connectors 34, 36, AC or DC power is delivered at operation 340 from the backplane 12 to the component 22. Power delivery is made via a first electrical connection between a first of the two male connectors 30, 32 and a corresponding first of the two female connectors 34, 36 and via a second electrical connection between a second of the two male connectors 30, 32 and a corresponding second of the two female connectors 34, 36. Power delivery from the backplane 12 to the component 22 is in the form of AC power or DC power depending on the detected type of the component 22. Hence, the first electrical connection is a positive DC voltage connection and the second electrical connection is a DC negative voltage connection when DC power is delivered. Alternatively, the first electrical connection is a line AC voltage connection and the second electrical connection is a neutral connection when AC power is delivered.

    [0059] The sequence 300 may continue with operation 350 in which a level of power delivered from the backplane 12 to the component 22 is sensed by the sensor 188 of the protection circuit 170. The level of power delivered to the component 22 may be sensed directly or calculated based on a sensed current level. The delivery of power to the component 22 may be interrupted by the breaker 190 of the protection circuit 170 at operation 360 when the sensed power level exceeds a high power threshold. A rearm command 196 may be provided by the controller 168 and received by breaker 190 of the protection circuit 170 at operation 370, after interruption of the delivery of power to the component 22. The delivery of power to the component 22 may resume at operation 380 in response to receiving the rearm command 196 at the protection circuit 170.

    [0060] Other embodiments of the present technology provide various combinations of one or more of mechanical connections, fluidic connections, power connections and electronic connections of components in a same rack. An example of such embodiments is introduced on Figure 15, which is a front perspective view of a system 400 comprising another rack 402 and at least one insertable component 404 in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology. The system 400 will be described considering also Figure 16, which is a front perspective view taken from another angle of the rack 402 of Figure 15 in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology, Figure 17, which is a front elevation view of the rack 402 of Figure 15 in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology, and Figure 18, which is a rear perspective view taken from another angle of the rack 402 of Figure 15 in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology. The system 400, the rack 402 and the component 404 integrate several of the elements described in relation to the previous Figures and further incorporate additional elements. For instance, the component 404 includes the liquid adaptor 72 introduced in the description of Figure 6. The rack 402 includes on its backplane 12 the section 66 adapted for mating with the liquid adaptor 72, as introduced in the description of Figure 6. The component 404 also includes a midplane 406 that connects to the backplane 12 of the rack 402, as will be described in details hereinbelow. The midplane 406 is mounted on a main board 408 of the component 404; the midplane 406 may be viewed as another embodiment of the secondary board 38 of earlier Figures.

    [0061] As shown on Figure 15, the rack 402 comprises a plurality of vertically distributed rack stages that each correspond to a backplane stage 410. Each rack stage and corresponding backplane stage 410 is adapted to receive a distinct component such as the component 404. The main board 408 may be a standard-size board, for example a 19-inch board. Each rack/backplane stage 410, or position, may occupy a standard-size rack unit "U". A height of the shown component 404 is adapted to fit in a single rack stage, having a height not exceeding the unit U. Each rack stage and the corresponding backplane stage 410 are adapted to receive a distinct component when each of those components has a height that does not exceed the unit U. Another component 412 occupies a plurality of backplane stages 410 when inserted in the rack 402. When inserted in the rack 402, a midplane (not shown) of the component 412 connects to at least one backplane stages 410 in the same or equivalent manner as does the midplane 406 of the component 404. Some elements of the backplane 12 remain unused in some of the backplane stages 410 that are located behind the component 412.

    [0062] The backplane 12 includes a power and data section 414 located at an opposite end of the backplane 12 from the section 66 where the liquid adaptor 72 of the component 404 is connected. In each backplane stage 410, the power and data section 414 includes a backplane power connector 416 and a backplane data connector 418. The backplane power connector 416 is connectable to a component power connector (shown on a later Figure) mounted on the midplane 406 that is, in turn, mounted on the main board 408 of the component 404. The backplane data connector 418 is connectable to a component data connector (shown on a later Figure), also mounted on the midplane 406 of the component 404. These power and data connections are realised when the component 404 is inserted in one of the rack/backplane stages 410 of the rack 402.

    [0063] The rack 404 includes a rear section 420 located behind the backplane 12. A plurality of ventilators 422 (schematically represented as square boxes on Figure 18) is mounted to the backplane 12 and provides cooling ventilation to the system 400 via circular openings 424 formed in the backplane 12.

    [0064] The rear section 420 also holds a power panel 426. The power panel 426 comprises a plurality of power stages 428. Each power stage 428 of the power panel 426 is electrically connected, for example via wires (not shown), to the backplane power connector 416 of a corresponding backplane stage 410 of the backplane 12.

    [0065] Figure 19 is a detailed view of a power connector 430 mounted on the power panel 426. The power connector 430 may be, in a non-limiting example, a Molex 0461144120 connector or an equivalent connector. Each power connector 430 mounted on the power panel 426 includes, on an input side 442, a phase input 442p and a neutral input 442N. Each power connector 430 also includes, on an output side 444, a phase output 444P and a neutral output 444N. Each power connector 430 further includes a data port 446. Figure 20 is a top view of the power panel 426 in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology. The system 400 receives power from a sector (not shown) or from uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) (not shown) on two (2) distinct power lines A and B. Line A has a phase A connected to a first bus bar 432 and a neutral A connected to a second bus bar 434. Line B has a phase B connected to a third bus bar 436 and a neutral B connected to a fourth bus bas 438. A fifth bus bar 440 is connected to ground for safety purposes. Two (2) complementary power connectors 430A and 430B are mounted on each given power stage 428. As shown on Figure 20, an input side 442A of the power connector 430A is connected to the first and second bus bars 432 and 434 to allow a connection of one of the backplane power connectors 416 to phase A and neutral A of the first line via the output side 444A of the power connector 430A. An input side 442B of the power connector 430B is connected to the third and fourth bus bars 436 and 438 to allow a connection the same backplane power connector 416 to phase B and neutral B of the second line via the output side 444B of the power connector 430B. In an embodiment, a total voltage between phases A and B is 230 VAC, +/- 5%.

    [0066] Although not mandatory, the two (2) complementary power connectors 430 of a same power stage 428 of the power panel 426 should be connected a same backplane connector 416 in a corresponding stage 410 of the backplane 12.

    [0067] Figure 21 is a schematic view of the power panel 426 showing how smart breakers 450 are connected thereto in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology. In the context of the present technology, a smart breaker is a power control device that is configured to provide power to a component 404 while monitoring the power consumption of that component 404 in order to detect various abnormal conditions, for example overcurrent conditions, short-circuit conditions, and differential current faults. Two (2) smart breakers 450 are shown on Figure 21, one each for the A and B sides of a given power stage 428 of the power panel 426. It should be understood that smart breakers 450 may be connected to each complementary power connector 430 in each power stage 428 of the system 400. Each smart breaker 450 comprises a power input 452 connectable to the input side 442 of a power connector 430, a power output side 454 connectable to the output side 444 of the power connector 430, and a data port 456 connectable to the data port 446 of the power connector 430. The data port 456 may be in the form of a RS485 connection. Power from one of the lines A or B is received at the power input 452 of the smart breaker 450 via the input side 442 of the power connector 430. Depending on conditions established within the smart breaker 450, power may be provided by the power output 454 of the smart breaker 450 to the output side 444 of the power connector 430 and, thereon, to a corresponding backplane power connector 416 of the backplane 12.

    [0068] Figure 21 also illustrates other elements of the system 400 that may, in an embodiment, be mounted on the power panel 426. As illustrated, each of these elements is present on both A and B sides of the power panel 426 for redundancy purposes; however, in an embodiment, a single one of each of these elements may be provided. One of these elements is a power supply 458 that is electrically connected to one of the lines A or B and that may be used to provide low voltage power, for example DC power, to various processing components of the system 400. Another element mounted on the power panel 426 is a main controller 460. The main controller 460 receives DC power from the power supply 458. The main controller 460 has data connections to the power connectors 430 and further to the smart breakers 450 when these are connected to the power connectors 430. An inter-integrated circuit (I C) connection 462 also allows the main controller 460 to communicate with the backplane data connectors 418 on each backplane stage 410 of the backplane 12. When two (2) main controllers 460 are present, as in the example of Figure 21, any one of the main controller 460 may assume an 'active' state while the other main controller 460 assumes a 'standby' state, being ready to take over the 'active' stage in case of failure of the other main controller 460. The present disclosure generally refers to 'the main controller 460' in the singular form for simplicity purposes, without any intent to limit the generality of the presentation. On each of the A and B sides, a power line communication (PLC) modem 464 is controlled by the main controller 460 and is connected to the phase and neutral of the A or B line. A ventilator controller 466 controls turning on or off of the ventilators 422, as directed by the main controller 460. In an embodiment, the main controllers 460 are connected to each other and to the data ports 446 of the power connectors 430, to the PLC modems 464, and to ventilator controllers 466 via universal asynchronous receiver-transmitter (UART) busses. A non-limiting example of the PLC modems 464 includes Maxim 79356 modems.

    [0069] Figure 22 is a high-level schematic circuit diagram of a smart breaker 450 in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology. The power input 452 comprises a phase side 452p connectable to the phase input 442p of the power connector 430 and a neutral side 452N connectable to the neutral input 442N of the power connector 430. The power output 454 comprises a phase side 454p connectable to the phase output 444p of the power connector 430 and a neutral side 454N connectable to the neutral output 444N of the power connector 430. In the shown embodiment, the smart breaker 450 is capable of detecting a high line current on the A or B phase on which it is connected, the smart breaker 450 being also capable of detecting a differential current fault. A sensor 468 senses a line current flowing in the smart breaker 450 via the phase side 452P of the power input 452. Another sensor 470 senses a difference between the line current and a neutral current returning from a load, i.e. from a component 404 mounted in the rack 402 and electrically connected to this smart breaker 450. A high line current detector 472 may detect that the sensor 468 reports that the line current is higher than a predetermined threshold and send a signal to a first latch 474. A high differential current detector 476 may detect that the sensor 470 reports a differential current that is higher than another predetermined threshold and send another signal to a second latch 478. A local controller 480 is informed of the statuses of the first and second latches 474 and 478. The local controller 480 also receives a line current measurement from the sensor 468 and forwards this measurement to the main controller 460 via the data port 456.

    [0070] When the first latch 474 is set, its output is applied to a logic combiner 482 that causes the opening of a first relay 484 to disconnect the power output 454 from the power input 452, effectively disabling the smart breaker 450. When the second latch 478 is set, it causes the opening of a second relay 486, with the same effect. The local controller 480 may receive a rearm signal from the main controller 460 via the data port 456. In response to receiving the rearm signal, the local controller 480 may release the first and second latches 474 and 478, allowing closing of the first and second relays 484 and 486.

    [0071] The smart breaker 450 may also be disabled by an action of the main controller 460, for example when the main controller 460 sends a power-off signal to the smart breaker 450. When the smart breaker 450 is initially inserted in the power connector 430 of the power plane, in the absence of a power-on signal from the main controller 460 the local controller 480 applies by default a disabling signal to the logic combiner 482, causing the opening of the first relay 484. The main controller 460 may then send a power-on signal received at the local controller 480, for example when the main controller 460 is informed of the insertion of the component 404 in the backplane stage 410 that corresponds to a location of the smart breaker 450 in the power panel 426. Having received the power-on signal, the local controller 480 sends an enabling signal to the logic combiner 482. As long as the first latch 474 is not set at that time, the logic combiner 482 will cause the closing of the first relay 484. Provided as well that the second latch 478 is not set, power will be available at the power output 454 of the smart breaker 450. According to the invention, the main controller 460 sends a presence verification signal, for example a ping signal, to the smart breaker 450 before sending the power-on signal to the smart breaker 450. The power-on signal will in that case be provided conditionally to the local controller 480 responding to the main controller with a presence confirmation signal.

    [0072] Returning to Figure 21, one ventilator controller 466 is powered by the line A and the other ventilator unit is powered by the line B. The ventilators 422 are assembled in two (2) ventilator units mounted on the backplane 12 and electrically connected to both sides A and B of the power panel 426. The ventilators 422 that are electrically connected to line A are controlled by the ventilator controller 426 that is also powered by the line A. Similarly, the ventilators 422 that are electrically connected to line B are controlled by the ventilator controller 426 that is also powered by the line B.

    [0073] Each ventilator unit includes three (3) ventilators 422 in the example of Figures 16 to 18, although smaller or larger numbers of ventilators 422 may be included in each ventilator unit. The ventilator controllers 466 are operatively connected to the main controller 460. The main controller 460 is configured to cause the ventilator controllers 466 to turn on the ventilator unit when at least one component 404 is inserted in any backplane stage 410 of the rack 402.

    [0074] One ventilator unit may be construed as being redundant to the other ventilator unit. The ventilator controllers 466 are configured to cause the ventilators 422 of the ventilator unit and of the redundant ventilator unit to rotate at an intermediate rate, for example 70% of their maximum rate, when all ventilators 422 of the ventilator unit and of the redundant ventilator unit are in operation. The ventilator controllers 466 are configured to cause the ventilators 422 of the ventilator unit and of the redundant ventilator unit to rotate at an accelerated rate, for example at their maximum rate, when at least one ventilator 422 of the ventilator unit and of the redundant ventilator unit is not in operation. The ventilator controllers may use pulse width modulation (PWM) to control the rotation of the ventilators 422 of the ventilator unit and of the redundant ventilator unit.

    [0075] Figure 23 is a front perspective view of a midplane 406 in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology. Figure 24 is a rear perspective view of the midplane 406 of Figure 23 in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology. Figure 25 is a detailed view of a backplane power connector 416 mounted on a backplane 12. Figure 26 is a perspective detailed view showing a connection of the midplane 406 to the backplane 12 in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology. Figure 27 is a top plan detailed view showing a connection of the midplane 406 to the backplane 12 in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology. The midplane 406 includes a board 488 that supports various active elements and connectors of the midplane 406. The midplane 406 includes a component data connector 490 and a component power connector 492. The component data connector 490 comes in contact with the backplane data connector 418 of a given backplane stage 410 when the component 404 is inserted in the rack 402. At the same time, the component power connector 492 comes in contact with the backplane power connector 416 of the same backplane stage 410. The backplane power connector 416 may, in a non-limiting embodiment, be a Molex 46112-603 connector or an equivalent connector. In a non-limiting example, the backplane data connector 418 may be a Molex 76165-3304 or an equivalent connector and the component data connector 490 may be a Molex 76170-3036 connector or an equivalent connector. In one embodiment, the backplane data connector 418 may include a stud 419 that is insertable in an aperture 491 of the component data connector 490. The stud 419 and the aperture 491 facilitate the alignment of the midplane 406 on the data section 414 of the backplane and, further, facilitate the alignment of the component 404 in the rack 402. Jointly with the liquid adaptor 72 and its connection in the section 66 of the backplane 12, the stud 419 and the aperture 491 provide the same or equivalent mechanical alignment features as the male connectors 30, 32 and the female connectors 34, 36 of earlier Figures.

    [0076] The component data connector 490 is connected to data plugs 494, for example RJ45 connectors, via internal traces (not shown) within the board 488. The component power connector 492 is connected to electric plugs 496 via internal traces (not shown) within the board 488. An electronic device mounted on the component 404, for example the non-standard size component 50 introduced in the description of Figures 4 and 5, may receive power via one or both of the electric plugs 496 and may have data connections to one or more of the data plugs 494. The I2C connection 462 to the main controller 460 of the power panel 426 reaches the component data connector 490 via the backplane data connector 418 so that the main controller 460 may be placed in contact with the midplane 406.

    [0077] When the component 404 is inserted in a given one of the plurality of backplane stages 410, the backplane data connector 418 of that backplane stage 410 emits a signal due to the fact that the backplane data connector 418 of that backplane stage 410 becomes connected to the component data connector 490 of the inserted component 404. This signal is received by the main controller 460 that thus detects the insertion of the component 404 in the given backplane stage 410 of the rack 402. The main controller 460 acquires a set of power parameters of the component 404 via the backplane data connector 418. In an embodiment, the main controller 460 uses the I2C connection 462 to read the set of power parameters from a memory mounted on the midplane 406, for example an EEPROM 540 (Figure 28), via the backplane data connector 418 and via the component data connector 490. The main controller 460 then causes the power panel 426 to provide power to the backplane power connector 418 of the backplane stage 410 in which the component 404 is inserted according to the set of power parameters of the component 404. The set of power parameters may include, for example an expected power consumption of the component 404 and an indication that the component 404 uses a single or dual power supply. Other parameters that may be read from the EEPROM 540 include, for example, a name, an IP address and/or a MAC address of a server mounted on the component 404, a serial number of the server, and a height of the component 404 expressed in a number of rack units U.

    [0078] As shown for example on Figure 21, the main controller 460 may be connected to each of the power stages 428 of the power panel 426. In a variant, some power connectors 430 that are connected to the bus bars 432 and 434 of line A are directly connected to one main controller 460 and other power connectors 430 that are connected to the bus bars 436 and 438 of line B are directly connected to another main controller 460. The two main controllers 460 share the same I2C connection 462 so that all power connectors 430 are operatively connected to both main controllers 460.

    [0079] Prior to causing the power panel 426 to provide power to the backplane power connector 416 of a given backplane stage 410 via the power stage 428 electrically connected to that backplane stage 410, the main controller 460 may send a presence verification signal to the smart breaker 450 that is connected to that power stage 428. The main controller 460 may then send a power-on signal to that smart breaker 450 after having received a presence confirmation signal from that smart breaker 450.

    [0080] If the set of power parameters of the component 404 specifies a single power supply, the main controller 460 may cause the power panel 426 to provide power to the backplane power connector 416 of the given backplane stage 410 via one of the complementary power connectors 430 of the power stage 428 corresponding to the given backplane stage 410. The main controller 460 may alternatively cause the power panel 426 to provide power to the backplane power connector 416 of the given backplane stage 410 via both of the complementary power connectors 430 of the power stage 428 corresponding to the given backplane stage 410 if the component 404 specifies a dual power supply.

    [0081] As distinct components such as the component 404 may be inserted in distinct rack/backplane stages 410 of the rack 402, the main controller 460 is further configured to detect the insertion of each component in these distinct rack/backplane stages 410 and to cause the power panel 426 to independently provide power to each of the distinct components being inserted in the distinct rack/backplane stages 410. Power is supplied to each distinct component according to distinct sets of power parameters of the distinct components acquired via distinct data connectors 418 of distinct rack/backplane stages 410 in which the distinct components are inserted.

    [0082] In the system 400, the main controller 460 may obtain, from the smart breakers 450 inserted in each distinct power stage 428, a measurement of a power consumption for each component such as the component 404 inserted in each rack/backplane stage 410. The main controller 460 may assemble the distinct power consumption measurements to form a power consumption mapping for the rack and cause the PLC modems 464 to transmit the power consumption mapping over the power lines A and/or B, for example to an operation management center of a datacenter.

    [0083] In an embodiment, the main controller 460 (or both main controllers 460 operating in tandem) may assemble operational parameters of all components inserted in the rack 402 in a tabular form as shown in Table I. Table I relates to a non-limiting example in which the rack 402 has 16 rack/backplane stages 410 numbered from 0 to 15 and various operational parameters are expressed in 16-bit words.
    Table I
    Parameter NameStage 15Stage 14....Stage 0
    IsAllowed Yes/No Yes/No ... Yes/No
    IsInserted Yes/No Yes/No ... Yes/No
    IsOn Yes/No Yes/No ... Yes/No
    SmartBreakerA Present/Absent Present/Absent ... Present/Absent
    SmartBreakerB Present/Absent Present/Absent ... Present/Absent
    MaxPower MSB MSB ... MSB
    ... ... ... ...
    LSB LSB ... LSB
    ServerError Yes/No Yes/No ... Yes/No
    ShortCircuit Yes/No Yes/No ... Yes/No
    OverCurrent Yes/No Yes/No ... Yes/No
    DifferentialLeakage Yes/No Yes/No ... Yes/No
    NoBoot Yes/No Yes/No ... Yes/No
    WaterCoolError Yes/No Yes/No ... Yes/No
    FanErrorA Channel A All Fans Channel A Fan 3 Channel A B Fan 2 Channel A Fan 1
    FanErrorB Channel B All Fans Channel B Fan 3 Channel B B Fan 2 Channel B Fan 1


    [0084] Table I defines the following parameters:

    [0085] 
    IsAllowed
    Indicates whether powering on a component inserted in a given rack/backplane stage 410 is allowed, this value being set by an operator of the system 400;
    IsInserted
    Indicates whether a component is inserted in that stage, this value is set to 'Yes' when the main controller 460 is informed of the insertion of the component 404 in that stage;
    IsOn
    Indicates whether the component inserted in that stage is powered on, this value is set to 'Yes' when the main controller 460 is informed by the corresponding smart breaker 450 that power is correctly delivered to the inserted component 404;
    SmartBreakerA
    Indicates whether the smart breaker in the power stage on side A is connected, this value being set when the main controller 460 receives the presence confirmation signal from the smart breaker 450 on the A side of that stage;
    SmartBreakerB
    Indicates whether the smart breaker in the power stage on side B is connected, this value being set when the main controller 460 receives the presence confirmation signal from the smart breaker 450 on the B side of that stage;
    MaxPower
    A measurement of a peak power consumed on that stage, expressed in a plurality of bits, for example 16 bits, from a most significant bit (MSB) to a least significant bit (LSB).
    ServerError
    Indicates whether an error or a fault is detected on a server inserted in a given stage.
    ShortCircuit
    Indicates whether a short circuit is detected by the high line current detector 472 of a smart breaker 450 for a given stage.
    OverCurrent
    Indicates whether a smart breaker 450 for a given stage detects that the measured power consumption of a component inserted in a given stage is higher than the expected power consumption of that component.
    DifferentialLeakage
    Indicates whether a smart breaker 450 for a given stage detects a differential current fault in a component inserted in a given stage.
    NoBoot
    This flag is set when a smart breaker 450 for a given stage detects that a server that should be turned on does not consume power.
    WaterCoolError
    This flag is set when a flowmeter (not shown) detects that a minimal liquid flow is not maintained in a liquid adaptor 72 for a given stage.
    FanErrorA/B
    These flags are not related to the various stages in the rack 402; they are set when one or more of ventilators 422 connected to lines A and B are not operational.


    [0086] The main controller 460 may cause the PLC modems 464 to transmit the power the entire contents of Table I, over the power lines A and/or B, to an operation management center of a datacenter. The PLC modems 464 may encrypt the information sent over the power lines A and/or B, for example using the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256.

    [0087] Figure 28 is a schematic view showing electrical and data connections between the midplane and the backplane in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology. Each backplane data connector 416 has five (5) connection points. For the backplane power connector 416 of a given backplane stage 410, a first connection point 498 is connected by wire (not shown) to a pin 500 (Figure 21) that is in turn connected within the power panel 426 to the phase output 444P of a power connector 430 of a corresponding power panel stage 428. Considering the same backplane power connector 416 and the same stages, a second connection point 502 is connected to a pin 504 that is in turn connected to the neutral output 444N. A third connection point 506 is connected to a pin 508 that is in turn connected to the phase output 444p of a complementary power connector 430 and a fourth connection point 510 is connected to a pin 512 that is in turn connected to the line output 444N of the complementary power connector 430. Finally, a fifth connection point 514 is connected to a pin 516 that is connected to the ground bus bar 440. One of the electric plugs 496 is connected to line A via internal leads 518 of the board 488 that reach a tab 520 of the component power connector 492, which is adapted to be inserted in a position 522 of the backplane power connector 416, thereby being connected on one side thereof to the pin 498 and on an opposite side to the pin 502 and further to the phase and neutral of line A. The other electric plug 496 is connected to line B via internal leads 524 of the board 488 that reach a tab 526 of the component power connector 492, which is adapted to be inserted in a position 528 of the backplane power connector 416, thereby being connected on one side thereof to the pin 506 and on an opposite side to the pin 510 and further to the phase and neutral of line B. Both electric plugs 496 have a ground connection connected via internal leads 530 to a tab 532 of the component power connector 492, which is adapted to be inserted in a position 534 of the backplane power connector, thereby being connected to the pin 514 and further to the ground bus bar 440.

    [0088] The EEPROM 540 is mounted to the midplane 406, more specifically on the board 488. An internal lead 542 of the board 488 links the EEPROM 540 to the component data connector 490. Given that the I2C connection 462 is established from the main controller 460 of the power panel 426 up to the component data connector 490, the main controller 460 can read information related tot he midplane 406 and to the component 404 from the EEPROM 540.

    [0089] Figures 29A and 29B is a sequence diagram of a method of providing power to a component received in a rack in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology. On Figures 29A and 29B, a sequence 600 comprises a plurality of operations that may be executed in variable order, some of the operations possibly being executed concurrently, some of the operations being optional. At operation 610, an insertion of the component 404 in a given stage of the rack 402 is detected by receiving, at the main controller 460 a signal from the backplane data connector 418 of a given backplane stage 410 of the rack 402. This insertion of the component 404 in the rack 402 establishes a contact between the backplane data connector 418 in the given rack/backplane stage 410 of the rack 402 and the component data connector 490 of the component 404. A set of power parameters of the component 404 is acquired by the main controller 460 via the backplane data connector 418 in the given stage 410 of the rack 402 at operation 620. The set of power parameters, including for example an expected power consumption of the component 404 and an indication that the component 404 uses a single or dual power supply, may be obtained from the EEPROM 540. Other parameters that may be read from the EEPROM 540 include, for example, a name, an IPv6 and/or an IPv4 address, and a MAC address of a server mounted on the component 404. Another parameter that may be read from the EEPROM 540 indicates whether the component 404 occupies one or more of the rack/backplane stages 410 of the rack 402, the height of the component being expressed in a number of rack units U. Considering for example the component 412 of Figure 15, which has a height of about four (4) rack units, a parameter read from the EEPROM 540 may indicate to the main controller 460 that a first, lowest position within four (4) rack/backplane stages 410 occupied by the component 412 may have a component power connector 492 and that other positions occupied by the component 412 do not include any component power connector 492. It would not be useful in such a case to mount smart breakers 450 in corresponding second, third and fourth power stages 428 of the power panel 426. If smart breakers 450 are nevertheless mounted in all power stages 428 of the power panel 426, it would not be useful in the same example to energize the smart breakers 450 connected to the second, third and fourth power stages 428 of the power panel.

    [0090] At operation 630, the power panel 426 is caused to provide power to the backplane power connector 416 in the given stage 410 of the rack 402, the power being provided in accordance to the set of power parameters of the component 404. For example, depending on the dual or single power supply specification provided by the EEPROM 540, power may become available on one or both of the electric plugs 496. In a single power supply case, the main controller 460 may energize a single one of the smart breakers 450 connected to the two (2) complementary power connectors 430.

    [0091] In an embodiment, operation 630 may comprise sub-operations 632, 634 and 636. At sub-operation 632, the main controller 460 sends a presence verification signal, for example a ping signal, to the smart breaker 450 connected to the given power stage 428 of the power panel 426 that is electrically connected to the backplane power connector 416 in the given stage 410 of the rack 402. In the smart breaker 450, the local controller 480 receives this presence verification signal. The main controller 460 receives a presence confirmation signal from the local controller 480 of the smart breaker 450 at sub-operation 634. Then at sub-operation 636, the main controller 460 sends a power-on signal to the smart breaker 450. The power-on signal is also received by the local controller 480 that, in turn, provides an enabling signal to the logic combiner 482, causing the first relay 484 to close. At that time, the first latch 474 is not expected to be set given that given that the smart breaker 450 was inactive until that time. For the same reason, at that time, the second latch 478 is not expected to be set and the second relay 486 is expected to be closed.

    [0092] A warning signal may be issued at operation 640 if the main controller 460 determines that power is not provided to the component 404, for example if the main controller 460 does not receive the presence confirmation signal from local controller 480 of the smart breaker 450 or if the smart breaker 450 detects that the component 404 does not consume any power. At operation 650, the main controller 450 may read an expected power consumption of the component 404 in the set of power parameters of the component 404 obtained from the EEPROM 540. A measured power consumption of the component 404 may be obtained at the main controller 460 from the given power stage 428 at operation 660. Optionally, operation 660 may take place following a predetermined delay after the provision of power to the backplane power connector 416 in the given stage 410 of the rack 402 at operation 630. This optional delay allows to measure a stabilized power consumption of the component 404. In the illustrated embodiment, it is the local controller 480 of the smart breaker 450 inserted in the given power stage 480 that provides the power consumption measurement of the component 404 based on a current measurement obtained from the sensor 468. Then at operation 670, the main controller 460 may issue another warning signal if the measured power consumption of the component 404 is higher or lower than the expected power consumption of the component 404 by more than a predetermined threshold. Another warning signal may be issued by the main controller 460 if the component 404 specifies a dual power supply and if only one of the electric plugs 496 is energized through, for example, the inactivation of one of the smart breakers 450 in the related power stage 428. In an embodiment, the main controller 460 may cause any one of these warning signals may be issued over the power line A and/or over the power line B using the PLC modems 464 and the PLC protocol. The warnings may be received at an operation management center (not shown) of a datacenter in which the system 400 is installed.

    [0093] While the above-described implementations have been described and shown with reference to particular steps performed in a particular order, it will be understood that these steps may be combined, sub-divided, or re-ordered without departing from the teachings of the present technology. At least some of the steps may be executed in parallel or in series. Accordingly, the order and grouping of the steps is not a limitation of the present technology.

    [0094] It should be expressly understood that not all technical effects mentioned herein need to be enjoyed in each embodiment of the present technology.

    [0095] Modifications and improvements to the above-described implementations of the present technology may become apparent to those skilled in the art. The foregoing description is intended to be exemplary rather than limiting. The scope of the present technology is therefore intended to be limited solely by the scope of the appended claims.


    Claims

    1. A rack (402) adapted for receiving a component (404), comprising:

    a backplane (12) having a plurality of backplane stages (410), each backplane stage (410) including a backplane power connector (416) and a backplane data connector (418), the backplane power connector (416) and the backplane data connector (418) being respectively connectable to a component power connector (492) and to a component data connector (490) of the component (404) when the component (404) is inserted in the backplane stage (410);

    a power panel (426) comprising a plurality of power stages (428), each power stage (428) being electrically connected to the backplane power connector (416) of a corresponding backplane stage (410); and

    a main controller (460) operatively connected to each of the power stages (428) of the power panel (426) and to the backplane data connector (418) of each of the plurality of backplane stages (410), the main controller (460) being configured to:

    detect an insertion of the component (404) in a given one of the plurality of backplane stages (410) by receiving a signal emitted by the backplane data connector (418) of the given backplane stage (410) when the backplane data connector (418) of the given backplane stage (410) is connected to the component data connector (490),

    acquire a set of power parameters of the component (404) via the backplane data connector (418) of the given backplane stage (410), and

    cause the power panel 2. (426) to provide power to the backplane power connector (416) of the given backplane stage (410) according to the set of power parameters of the component (404);

    characterized in that:
    the main controller (460) is further configured to cause the power panel (426) to provide power to the backplane power connector (416) of the given backplane stage (410) via the power stage (428) electrically connected to the given backplane stage (410) by:

    sending a presence verification signal to a power control device (450) connected to the power stage (428) electrically connected to the given backplane stage (410);

    receiving a presence confirmation signal from the power control device (450); and

    sending a power-on signal to the power control device (450).


     
    2. The rack (402) of claim 1, wherein:

    each of the power stages (428) of the power panel (426) comprises two complementary power connectors (430) that are both connected to the backplane power connector (416) of the corresponding backplane stage (410), each of the two complementary power connectors (430) being adapted to receive a corresponding power control device (450); and

    a first one of the complementary power connectors (430) is fed by a first power line (432, 434, 436, 438) and a second one of the complementary power connectors (430) is fed by a second power line (432, 434, 436, 438).


     
    3. The rack (402) of claim 2, wherein the main controller (460) is further configured to:

    read in the set of power parameters of the component (404) an information element indicating whether the component (404) specifies a single or dual power supply;

    cause the power panel (426) to provide power to the backplane power connector (416) of the given backplane stage (410) via one of the complementary power connectors (430) of the power stage (428) corresponding to the given backplane stage (410) if the component (404) specifies a single power supply;

    cause the power panel 2. (426) to provide power to the backplane power connector (416) of the given backplane stage (410) via both of the complementary power connectors (430) of the power stage (428) corresponding to the given backplane stage (410) if the component (404) specifies a dual power supply;

    read in the set of power parameters of the component (404) an expected power consumption of the component (404);

    obtain from the power stage (428) connected to the given backplane stage (410) a measured power consumption of the component (404); and

    issue a warning signal if the measured power consumption of the component (404) is higher or lower than the expected power consumption of the component (404) by more than a predetermined threshold.


     
    4. The rack (402) of claim 3, wherein the main controller (460) is further configured to obtain the measured power consumption of the component (404) following a predetermined delay after causing the power panel (426) to provide power to the backplane power connector (416) of the given backplane stage (410).
     
    5. A system, comprising the rack (402) and the component (404) of any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein the component (404) comprises:

    a main board,

    a midplane mounted on the main board, the component power connector (492) and the component data connector (490) being mounted on the midplane, and

    a memory operatively connected to the component data connector (490), the memory storing the set of power parameters of the component (404).


     
    6. The system of claim 5, wherein the component (404) further comprises:

    an electric plug mounted on the midplane and electrically connected to the component power connector (492);

    a data plug mounted on the midplane and operatively connected to the component data connector (490); and

    an electronic device mounted on the main board and connected to the electric plug and to the data plug.


     
    7. The system of claim 6, wherein:

    the rack (402) is adapted for insertion of standard-size boards;

    the main board is a standard-size board; and

    the electronic device comprises a non-standard-size board mounted on the main board.


     
    8. The system of any one of claims 5 to 7, wherein:

    the rack (402) comprises a plurality of distinct rack stages adapted for receiving distinct components (404), each distinct rack stage corresponding to one of the backplane stages (410) and to the power stage (428) corresponding to the one of the backplane stages (410); and

    the main controller (460) is further configured to cause the power panel (426) to independently provide power to each of the distinct components (404) being inserted in the distinct rack stages according to distinct sets of power parameters of the distinct components (404) acquired via distinct data connectors of distinct backplane stages (410) corresponding to the distinct rack stages in which the distinct components (404) are inserted.


     
    9. The system of claim 8, further comprising a modem (464) operatively connected to the main controller (460) and to a power line (432, 434, 436, 438) providing power to the power panel 2. (426) wherein the main controller (460) is further configured to:

    obtain from the power stage (428) distinct power consumption measurements for the distinct components (404) inserted in the distinct rack stages;

    assemble the distinct power consumption measurements to form a power consumption mapping for the rack (402); and

    cause the modem (464) to transmit the power consumption mapping over the power line (432, 434, 436, 438).


     
    10. A method for providing power to a component (404) received in a rack (402) according to the claim 1 comprising:

    detecting an insertion of the component (404) in a given stage of the rack (402) by receiving, at a main controller (460), a signal from a backplane data connector (418) of the given stage of the rack (402), the insertion of the component (404) establishing a contact between the backplane data connector (418) in the given stage of the rack (402) and a component data connector (490) of the component (404);

    acquiring a set of power parameters of the component (404) via the backplane data connector (418) in the given stage of the rack (402); and

    causing a power panel 2. (426) to provide power to a backplane power connector (416) in the given stage of the rack (402) according to the set of power parameters of the component (404);

    characterized in that:
    causing the power panel 2. (426) to provide power to the backplane power connector (416) in the given stage of the rack (402) further comprises:

    sending, from the main controller (460), a presence verification signal to a power control device (450) connected to a given power stage (428) of the power panel (426), the given power stage (428) of the power panel 2. (426) being electrically connected to the backplane power connector (416) in the given stage of the rack (402);

    receiving, at the main controller (460), a presence confirmation signal from the power control device (450); and

    sending, from the main controller (460), a power-on signal to the power control device (450).


     
    11. The method of claim 10, further comprising issuing a warning signal if the main controller (460) does not receive the presence confirmation signal from the power control device (450).
     
    12. The method of claim 10, further comprising:

    reading in the set of power parameters of the component (404) an expected power consumption of the component (404);

    obtaining from the given power stage (428) a measured power consumption of the component (404); and

    issuing a warning signal if the measured power consumption of the component (404) is higher or lower than the expected power consumption of the component (404) by more than a predetermined threshold.


     
    13. The method of claim 10, further comprising issuing a warning signal if the power control device (450) detects that the component (404) does not consume power.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Gestell (402), das zum Aufnehmen einer Komponente (404) ausgelegt ist, umfassend:

    eine Backplane (12), die eine Vielzahl von Backplanestufen (410) aufweist, wobei jede Backplanestufe (410) einen Backplanestromanschluss (416) und einen Backplanedatenanschluss (418) beinhaltet, wobei der Backplanestromanschluss (416) und der Backplanedatenanschluss (418) mit einem Komponentenstromanschluss (492) beziehungsweise mit einem Komponentendatenanschluss (490) der Komponente (404) verbunden werden können, wenn die Komponente (404) in die Backplanestufe (410) eingesetzt ist;

    ein Netzschaltfeld (426), das eine Vielzahl von Stromstufen (428) umfasst, wobei jede Stromstufe (428) elektrisch mit dem Backplanestromanschluss (416) einer entsprechenden Backplanestufe (410) verbunden ist; und

    eine Hauptsteuerung (460), die betriebsfähig mit jeder der Stromstufen (428) des Netzschaltfelds (426) und mit dem Backplanedatenanschluss (418) jeder der Vielzahl von Backplanestufen (410) verbunden ist, wobei die Hauptsteuerung (460) zu Folgendem konfiguriert ist:

    Detektieren eines Einsetzens der Komponente (404) in eine gegebene der Vielzahl von Backplanestufen (410) durch Empfangen eines durch den Backplanedatenanschluss (418) der gegebenen Backplanestufe (410) emittierten Signals, wenn der Backplanedatenanschluss (418) der gegebenen Backplanestufe (410) mit dem Komponentendatenanschluss (490) verbunden wird,

    Erfassen eines Satzes von Stromparametern (404) über den Backplanedatenanschluss (418) der gegebenen Backplanestufe (410) und

    Bewirken, dass das Netzschaltfeld (426) dem Backplanestromanschluss (416) der gegebenen Backplanestufe (410) gemäß dem Satz von Stromparametern der Komponente (404) Strom bereitstellt;

    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass:
    die Hauptsteuerung (460) ferner dazu konfiguriert ist, durch Folgendes zu bewirken, dass das Netzschaltfeld (426) dem Backplanestromanschluss (416) der gegebenen Backplanestufe (410) über die Stromstufe (428), die elektrisch mit der gegebenen Backplanestufe (410) verbunden ist, Strom bereitstellt:

    Senden eines Anwesenheitsverifizierungssignals an eine Stromsteuervorrichtung (450), die mit der Stromstufe (428) verbunden ist, die elektrisch mit der gegebenen Backplanestufe (410) verbunden ist;

    Empfangen eines Anwesenheitsbestätigungssignals von der Stromsteuervorrichtung (450); und

    Senden eines Einschaltsignals an die Stromsteuervorrichtung (450).


     
    2. Gestell (402) nach Anspruch 1, wobei:

    jede der Stromstufen (428) des Netzschaltfelds (426) zwei komplementäre Stromanschlüsse (430) umfasst, die beide mit dem Backplanestromanschluss (416) der entsprechenden Backplanestufe (410) verbunden sind, wobei jeder der zwei komplementären Stromanschlüsse (430) dazu ausgelegt ist, eine entsprechende Stromsteuervorrichtung (450) aufzunehmen; und

    ein erster der komplementären Stromanschlüsse (430) durch eine erste Stromleitung (432, 434, 436, 438) gespeist wird und ein zweiter der komplementären Stromanschlüsse (430) durch eine zweite Stromleitung (432, 434, 436, 438) gespeist wird.


     
    3. Gestell (402) nach Anspruch 2, wobei die Hauptsteuerung (460) ferner zu Folgendem konfiguriert ist:

    Lesen eines Informationselements, das angibt, ob die Komponente (404) eine einzelne oder duale Stromzufuhr vorgibt, in dem Satz von Stromparametern der Komponente (404);

    Bewirken, dass das Netzschaltfeld (426) dem Backplanestromanschluss (416) der gegebenen Backplanestufe (410) über einen der komplementären Stromanschlüsse (430) der Stromstufe (428), die der gegebenen Backplanestufe (410) entspricht, Strom bereitstellt, falls die Komponente (404) eine einzelne Stromzufuhr vorgibt;

    Bewirken, dass das Netzschaltfeld (426) dem Backplanestromanschluss (416) der gegebenen Backplanestufe (410) über beide der komplementären Stromanschlüsse (430) der Stromstufe (428), die der gegebenen Backplanestufe (410) entspricht, Strom bereitstellt, falls die Komponente (404) eine duale Stromzufuhr vorgibt;

    Lesen eines erwarteten Stromverbrauchs der Komponente (404) in dem Satz von Stromparametern der Komponente (404);

    Erlangen eines gemessenen Stromverbrauchs der Komponente (404) von der Stromstufe (428), die mit der gegebenen Backplanestufe (410) verbunden ist; und

    Ausgeben eines Warnsignals, falls der gemessene Stromverbrauch der Komponente (404) um mehr als einen vorbestimmten Schwellenwert höher oder niedriger als der erwartete Stromverbrauch der Komponente (404) ist.


     
    4. Gestell (402) nach Anspruch 3, wobei die Hauptsteuerung (460) ferner dazu konfiguriert ist, den gemessenen Stromverbrauch der Komponente (404) im Anschluss an eine vorbestimmte Verzögerung zu erlangen, nachdem sie bewirkt hat, dass das Netzschaltfeld (426) dem Backplanestromanschluss (416) der gegebenen Backplanestufe (410) Strom bereitstellt.
     
    5. System, umfassend das Gestell (402) und die Komponente (404) nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 4, wobei die Komponente (404) Folgendes umfasst:

    eine Hauptplatine,

    eine Midplane, die an der Hauptplatine montiert ist, wobei der Komponentenstromanschluss (492) und der Komponentendatenanschluss (490) an der Midplane montiert sind, und

    einen Speicher, der betriebsfähig mit dem Komponentendatenanschluss (490) verbunden ist, wobei der Speicher den Satz von Stromparametern der Komponente (404) speichert.


     
    6. System nach Anspruch 5, wobei die Komponente (404) ferner Folgendes umfasst:

    einen Elektrostecker, der an der Midplane montiert ist und elektrisch mit dem Komponentenstromanschluss (492) verbunden ist;

    einen Datenstecker, der an der Midplane montiert ist und betriebsfähig mit dem Komponentendatenanschluss (490) verbunden ist; und

    eine elektronische Vorrichtung, die an der Hauptplatine montiert ist und mit dem Elektrostecker und mit dem Datenstecker verbunden ist.


     
    7. System nach Anspruch 6, wobei:

    das Gestell (402) für das Einsetzen von Platinen in einer Standardgröße ausgelegt ist;

    die Hauptplatine eine Platine in einer Standardgröße ist; und

    die elektronische Vorrichtung eine Platine nicht in einer Standardgröße umfasst, die an der Hauptplatine montiert ist.


     
    8. System nach einem der Ansprüche 5 bis 7, wobei:

    das Gestell (402) eine Vielzahl von unterschiedlichen Gestellstufen umfasst, die zum Aufnehmen von unterschiedlichen Komponenten (404) ausgelegt ist, wobei jede unterschiedliche Gestellstufe einer der Backplanestufen (410) und der Stromstufe (428) entspricht, die der einen der Backplanestufen (410) entspricht; und

    die Hauptsteuerung (460) ferner dazu konfiguriert ist, zu bewirken, dass das Netzschaltfeld (426) jeder der unterschiedlichen Komponenten (404), die in die unterschiedlichen Gestellstufen eingesetzt werden, gemäß unterschiedlichen Sätzen von Stromparametern der unterschiedlichen Komponenten (404), die über unterschiedliche Datenanschlüsse von unterschiedlichen Backplanestufen (410) erfasst werden, die den unterschiedlichen Gestellstufen entsprechen, in die die unterschiedlichen Komponenten (404) eingesetzt werden, unabhängig Strom bereitstellt.


     
    9. System nach Anspruch 8, ferner umfassend ein Modem (464), das betriebsfähig mit der Hauptsteuerung (460) und mit einer Stromleitung (432, 434, 436, 438) verbunden ist, die dem Netzschaltfeld (426) Strom bereitstellt, wobei die Hauptsteuerung (460) ferner zu Folgendem konfiguriert ist:

    Erlangen von unterschiedlichen Stromverbrauchsmessungen für die unterschiedlichen Komponenten (404), die in die unterschiedlichen Gestellstufen eingesetzt sind, von der Stromstufe (428);

    Zusammenführen der unterschiedlichen Stromverbrauchsmessungen, um eine Stromverbrauchsabbildung für das Gestell (402) zu bilden; und

    Bewirken, dass das Modem (464) die Stromverbrauchsabbildung über die Stromleitung (432, 434, 436, 438) überträgt.


     
    10. Verfahren, um einer Komponente (404), die in ein Gestell (402) nach Anspruch 1 aufgenommen ist, Strom bereitzustellen,
    umfassend:

    Detektieren eines Einsetzens der Komponente (404) in eine gegebene Stufe des Gestells (402) durch Empfangen eines Signals von einem Backplanedatenanschluss (418) der gegebenen Stufe des Gestells (402) an einer Hauptsteuerung (460), wobei das Einsetzen der Komponente (404) einen Kontakt zwischen dem Backplanedatenanschluss (418) in der gegebenen Stufe des Gestells (402) und einem Komponentendatenanschluss (490) der Komponente (404) herstellt;

    Erfassen eines Satzes von Stromparametern (404) über den Backplanedatenanschluss (418) in der gegebenen Stufe des Gestells (402); und

    Bewirken, dass ein Netzschaltfeld (426) einem Backplanestromanschluss (416) in der gegebenen Stufe des Gestells (402) gemäß dem Satz von Stromparametern der Komponente (404) Strom bereitstellt;

    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass:
    Bewirken, dass das Netzschaltfeld (426) dem Backplanestromanschluss (416) in der gegebenen Stufe des Gestells (402) Strom bereitstellt, ferner Folgendes umfasst:

    Senden eines Anwesenheitsverifizierungssignals von der Hauptsteuerung (460) an eine Stromsteuervorrichtung (450), die mit einer gegebenen Stromstufe (428) des Netzschaltfelds (426) verbunden ist, wobei die gegebene Stromstufe (428) des Netzschaltfelds (426) elektrisch mit dem Backplanestromanschluss (416) in der gegebenen Stufe des Gestells (402) verbunden ist;

    Empfangen eines Anwesenheitsbestätigungssignals von der Stromsteuervorrichtung (450) an der Hauptsteuerung (460); und

    Senden eines Einschaltsignals von der Hauptsteuerung (460) an die Stromsteuervorrichtung (450).


     
    11. Verfahren nach Anspruch 10, ferner umfassend Ausgeben eines Warnsignals, falls die Hauptsteuerung (460) das Anwesenheitsbestätigungssignal nicht von der Stromsteuervorrichtung (450) empfängt.
     
    12. Verfahren nach Anspruch 10, ferner umfassend:

    Lesen eines erwarteten Stromverbrauchs der Komponente (404) in dem Satz von Stromparametern der Komponente (404);

    Erlangen eines gemessenen Stromverbrauchs der Komponente (404) von der gegebenen Stromstufe (428); und

    Ausgeben eines Warnsignals, falls der gemessene Stromverbrauch der Komponente (404) um mehr als einen vorbestimmten Schwellenwert höher oder niedriger als der erwartete Stromverbrauch der Komponente (404) ist.


     
    13. Verfahren nach Anspruch 10, ferner umfassend Ausgeben eines Warnsignals, falls die Stromsteuervorrichtung (450) detektiert, dass die Komponente (404) keinen Strom verbraucht.
     


    Revendications

    1. Rack (402) adapté pour recevoir un composant (404), comprenant :

    un fond de panier (12) ayant une pluralité d'étages de fond de panier (410), chaque étage de fond de panier (410) comprenant un connecteur d'alimentation de fond de panier (416) et un connecteur de données de fond de panier (418), le connecteur d'alimentation de fond de panier (416) et le connecteur de données de fond de panier (418) pouvant être respectivement connectés à un connecteur d'alimentation de composant (492) et à un connecteur de données de composant (490) du composant (404) lorsque le composant (404) est inséré dans l'étage de fond de panier (410) ;

    un panneau d'alimentation (426) comprenant une pluralité d'étages d'alimentation (428), chaque étage d'alimentation (428) étant connecté électriquement au connecteur d'alimentation de fond de panier (416) d'un étage de fond de panier (410) correspondant ; et

    un dispositif de commande principal (460) connecté fonctionnellement à chacun des étages d'alimentation (428) du panneau d'alimentation (426) et au connecteur de données de fond de panier (418) de chacun de la pluralité d'étages de fond de panier (410), le dispositif de commande principal (460) étant configuré pour :

    détecter une insertion du composant (404) dans un étage donné de la pluralité d'étages de fond de panier (410) par la réception d'un signal émis par le connecteur de données de fond de panier (418) de l'étage de fond de panier (410) donné lorsque le connecteur de données de fond de panier (418) de l'étage de fond de panier (410) donné est connecté au connecteur de données de composant (490), acquérir un ensemble de paramètres d'alimentation du composant (404) par l'intermédiaire du connecteur de données de fond de panier (418) de l'étage de fond de panier (410) donné, et

    amener le panneau d'alimentation (426) à fournir de l'énergie au connecteur d'alimentation de fond de panier (416) de l'étage de fond de panier (410) donné en fonction de l'ensemble de paramètres d'alimentation du composant (404) ;

    caractérisé en ce que :
    le dispositif de commande principal (460) est en outre configuré pour amener le panneau d'alimentation (426) à fournir de l'énergie au connecteur d'alimentation de fond de panier (416) de l'étage de fond de panier (410) donné par l'intermédiaire de l'étage d'alimentation (428) connecté électriquement à l'étage de fond de panier (410) donné par :

    l'envoi d'un signal de vérification de présence à un dispositif de commande d'alimentation (450) connecté à l'étage d'alimentation (428) connecté électriquement à l'étage de fond de panier (410) donné ;

    la réception d'un signal de confirmation de présence depuis le dispositif de commande d'alimentation (450) ; et

    l'envoi d'un signal de mise sous tension au dispositif de commande d'alimentation (450).


     
    2. Rack (402) selon la revendication 1, dans lequel :

    chacun des étages d'alimentation (428) du panneau d'alimentation (426) comprend deux connecteurs d'alimentation complémentaires (430) qui sont tous deux connectés au connecteur d'alimentation de fond de panier (416) de l'étage de fond de panier (410) correspondant, chacun des deux connecteurs d'alimentation complémentaires (430) étant adapté pour recevoir un dispositif de commande d'alimentation (450) correspondant ; et

    un premier des connecteurs d'alimentation complémentaires (430) est alimenté par une première ligne d'alimentation (432, 434, 436, 438) et un second des connecteurs d'alimentation complémentaires (430) est alimenté par une seconde ligne d'alimentation (432, 434, 436, 438).


     
    3. Rack (402) selon la revendication 2, dans lequel le dispositif de commande principal (460) est en outre configuré pour :

    lire dans l'ensemble de paramètres d'alimentation du composant (404) un élément d'information indiquant si le composant (404) spécifie une alimentation électrique simple ou double ;

    amener le panneau d'alimentation (426) à fournir de l'énergie au connecteur d'alimentation de fond de panier (416) de l'étage de fond de panier (410) donné par l'intermédiaire de l'un des connecteurs d'alimentation complémentaires (430) de l'étage d'alimentation (428) correspondant à l'étage de fond de panier (410) donné si le composant (404) spécifie une seule alimentation électrique ;

    amener le panneau d'alimentation (426) à fournir de l'énergie au connecteur d'alimentation de fond de panier (416) de l'étage de fond de panier (410) donné par l' intermédiaire des deux connecteurs d'alimentation complémentaires (430) de l'étage d'alimentation (428) correspondant à l'étage de fond de panier (410) donné si le composant (404) spécifie une alimentation électrique double ;

    lire dans l'ensemble de paramètres d'alimentation du composant (404) une consommation d'énergie prévue du composant (404) ;

    obtenir depuis l'étage d'alimentation (428) connecté à l'étage de fond de panier (410) donné une consommation d'énergie mesurée du composant (404) ; et

    émettre un signal d'avertissement si la consommation d'énergie mesurée du composant (404) est supérieure ou inférieure à la consommation d'énergie prévue du composant (404) de plus d'un seuil prédéterminé.


     
    4. Rack (402) selon la revendication 3, dans lequel le dispositif de commande principal (460) est en outre configuré pour obtenir la consommation d'énergie mesurée du composant (404) à la suite d'un délai prédéterminé après avoir amené le panneau d'alimentation (426) à fournir de l'énergie au connecteur d'alimentation de fond de panier (416) de l'étage de fond de panier (410) donné.
     
    5. Système, comprenant le rack (402) et le composant (404) selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 4, dans lequel le composant (404) comprend :

    une carte mère,

    un plan médian monté sur la carte mère, le connecteur d'alimentation de composant (492) et le connecteur de données de composant (490) étant montés sur le plan médian, et

    une mémoire connectée fonctionnellement au connecteur de données de composant (490), la mémoire stockant l'ensemble de paramètres d'alimentation du composant (404).


     
    6. Système selon la revendication 5, dans lequel le composant (404) comprend en outre :

    une fiche électrique montée sur le plan médian et connectée électriquement au connecteur d'alimentation de composant (492) ;

    une fiche de données montée sur le plan médian et connectée fonctionnellement au connecteur de données de composant (490) ; et

    un dispositif électronique monté sur la carte mère et connecté à la fiche électrique et à la fiche de données.


     
    7. Système selon la revendication 6, dans lequel :

    le rack (402) est adapté pour une insertion de cartes de taille standard ;

    la carte mère est une carte de taille standard ; et

    le dispositif électronique comprend une carte de taille non standard montée sur la carte mère.


     
    8. Système selon l'une quelconque des revendications 5 à 7, dans lequel :

    le rack (402) comprend une pluralité d'étages de rack distincts adaptés pour recevoir des composants (404) distincts, chaque étage de rack distinct correspondant à l' un des étages de fond de panier (410) et à l'étage d'alimentation (428) correspondant à l'étage des étages de fond de panier (410) ; et

    le dispositif de commande principal (460) est en outre configuré pour amener le panneau d'alimentation (426) à fournir de l'énergie indépendamment à chacun des composants (404) distincts étant insérés dans les étages de rack distincts en fonction d'ensembles distincts de paramètres d'alimentation des composants (404) distincts acquis par l'intermédiaire de connecteurs de données distincts d'étages de fond de panier (410) distincts correspondant aux étages de rack distincts dans lesquels les composants (404) distincts sont insérés.


     
    9. Système selon la revendication 8, comprenant en outre un modem (464) connecté fonctionnellement au dispositif de commande principal (460) et à une ligne d'alimentation (432, 434, 436, 438) fournissant de l'énergie au panneau d'alimentation (426) dans lequel le dispositif de commande principal (460) est en outre configuré pour :

    obtenir depuis l'étage d'alimentation (428) des mesures de consommation d'énergie distinctes pour les composants (404) distincts insérés dans les étages de rack distincts ;

    assembler les mesures de consommation d'énergie distinctes pour former un mappage de consommation d'énergie pour le rack (402) ; et

    amener le modem (464) à transmettre le mappage de consommation d'énergie sur la ligne d'alimentation (432, 434, 436, 438).


     
    10. Procédé pour fournir de l'énergie à un composant (404) reçu dans un rack (402) selon la revendication 1,
    comprenant :

    la détection d'une insertion du composant (404) dans un étage donné du rack (402) par la réception, au niveau d'un dispositif de commande principal (460), d'un signal depuis un connecteur de données de fond de panier (418) de l'étage donné du rack (402), l'insertion du composant (404) établissant un contact entre le connecteur de données de fond de panier (418) dans l'étage donné du rack (402) et un connecteur de données de composant (490) du composant (404) ;

    l'acquisition d'un ensemble de paramètres d'alimentation du composant (404) par l'intermédiaire du connecteur de données de fond de panier (418) dans l'étage donné du rack (402) ; et

    le fait d'amener un panneau d'alimentation (426) à fournir de l'énergie à un connecteur d'alimentation de fond de panier (416) dans l'étage donné du rack (402) en fonction de l'ensemble de paramètres d'alimentation du composant (404) ;

    caractérisé en ce que :
    le fait d'amener le panneau d'alimentation (426) à fournir de l' énergie au connecteur d'alimentation de fond de panier (416) dans l'étage donné du rack (402) comprend en outre :

    l'envoi, depuis le dispositif de commande principal (460), d'un signal de vérification de présence à un dispositif de commande d'alimentation (450) connecté à un étage d'alimentation (428) donné du panneau d'alimentation (426), l'étage d'alimentation donné (428) du panneau d'alimentation (426) étant connecté électriquement au connecteur d'alimentation de fond de panier (416) dans l'étage donné du rack (402) ;

    la réception, au niveau du dispositif de commande principal (460), d'un signal de confirmation de présence depuis le dispositif de commande d'alimentation (450) ; et

    l'envoi, depuis le dispositif de commande principal (460), d'un signal de mise sous tension au dispositif de commande d'alimentation (450).


     
    11. Procédé selon la revendication 10, comprenant en outre l'émission d'un signal d'avertissement si le dispositif de commande principal (460) ne reçoit pas le signal de confirmation de présence depuis le dispositif de commande d'alimentation (450) .
     
    12. Procédé selon la revendication 10, comprenant en outre :

    la lecture dans l'ensemble de paramètres d'alimentation du composant (404) d'une consommation d'énergie prévue du composant (404) ;

    l'obtention depuis l'étage d'alimentation (428) donné d'une consommation d'énergie mesurée du composant (404) ; et

    l'émission d'un signal d'avertissement si la consommation d'énergie mesurée du composant (404) est supérieure ou inférieure à la consommation d'énergie prévue du composant (404) de plus d'un seuil prédéterminé.


     
    13. Procédé selon la revendication 10, comprenant en outre l'émission d'un signal d'avertissement si le dispositif de commande d'alimentation (450) détecte que le composant (404) ne consomme pas d'énergie.
     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description




    Non-patent literature cited in the description