System architecture

Informations available on this webpage are related to RuggedPOD v1.

While being a simple idea, RuggedPOD is an advanced design, which needs to support traditionnal features available in datacenter. The first release of the design will support a single controller board that will be driving the main features of each RuggedPOD, including remote power on/off, remote reset, remote console access for system setup, remote power consumption monitoring, remote thermal management as well as pump system to handle thermal.

Each RuggedPOD will support 4 microATX motherboard or 4 mini ITX board. Each board are sitting on an individual blade, that can manage 1 3.5 inches drive and 1 2.5 inches drive. As to provide network connectivity an integrated switch is part of RuggedPOD.



Each Blade has a max power consumption of 150W, and is driven by a 24V DC input. A single DC/DC module is available on each of them to transform the 24V DC input into an ATX compliant power supply. This DC/DC provides power to local drives as well as to latest generation of AMD and Intel CPU though a 24 pins ATX connector and a 4 pins 12V CPU add on connector.

The included switch doesn’t provide any routing capability and the controller board is configured in DHCP as default mode. A valid IP address must be provided to each RuggedPOD for IP access. The included network switch provides a single uplink which is sharing data and management network access. First revision of RuggedPOD will support single Gigabit connection and single 10Gigabits connection.

Power distribution

Rugged pod is power supplied by a continuous 24V 600W generator. Power is dispatched into the four motherboards by an 150W ATX DC/DC converter.  Current sensors measure the power consumption of each motherboard and return the value to the controller board. Another DC/DC converts power from continuous 24V to 12V and 5V in order to supply current to Ethernet switch, controller board, pump, and ICs.

RuggedPod is power supplied with a TDK SWS600L-24 generator. It is low profile model and outputs 24VDC with 600W power. Input voltage for standard application is 100AC-240VAC (50/60Hz)


SR Power PB142 is 24V DC-DC ATX PC power supply. It is designed to provide high efficient power supply and receive the ON/OFF control from the motherboard.  PB142 provides up to 9A on the 12V rail, making it ideal for operating with Intel i7 core systems. It provides 10A on 3.3V and 9A on 5V leaving ample power for peripherials (multiple hard drives…).

SR Power D2D AT is another DC/DC converter which provides 5 V 10A and 12V 8A from 24VDC input. It supplies ethernet switch (5V, 1A), four pump (12V, 1.2A), Raspberry controller board (5V, 1A) and all ICs.

ACS710 placed before PB142 reads current used by micoATX board during operation. It can measure up to 10A current.The value is sent to the Raspberry controller board through an anlog to digital converter ADC PI, and reports the information to the user. So we can get a deep vision of power consumption used in each blade. Raspberry board also offers the possibility to on/off or reset the blade independently and access to the console remotly. The uart multiplexer MAX399 permits to choose the blade  we want to monitor. Raspberry also controls power on and power off of the pumps in order to keep a homogeneous and stable temperature into the Rugged Pod.

Remote Management


RuggedPOD remote management module is focused on remote access capabilities and inspired from Microsoft works performed within the Open Compute OCS project available here. RuggedPOD management board is not compliant with IPMI, and intends to be a much more simple system. It doesnt’ contain any FRU fields, and answers to basic functions call. The user interacts with the remote management module through three differents ways:

  • Web interface with login/password protection and self signed certificate for encryption
  • A Rest API for remote access through automatic client
  • A local command line tool

The web interface is based on a web server with PHP, sql and Javascript backend. The command line tool is available on the console by connecting to the admin account through ssh protocol. The default login is admin and password is password. Any access is login/password protected.

RuggedPOD maintenance is scheduled to be performed only by trained technician and the remote management interface intend to provide the following status about each board:

  • Useable or not
    • A board is useable if it is present or not into a faulty state coming from bad boot, lock or any other system condition which prevents it from being useable by RuggedPOD
  • Current status -> on or off
  • Current request in Amps
  • The following commands are implemented
    • Turn on
    • Turn off
    • Soft reset
    • Hard reset
    • Connect to console
    • Release console

Web interface

The client web interface is accessible through a secure connection with a default login/password which is admin/password. It does support the following functions.

  • Password management for the admin user (single user account supported on v1)
  • IP Port settings (default is 80)
  • Static IP or DHCP IP setup of the remote management module
  • Remote power on/off/reset per motherboard
  • Exclusive remote console access through in browser client
  • Real time motherboards power request.
  • Pump status
  • Remote management module restart

Deployment strategy

RuggedPOD is an headless system (there is no way to connect a Display or a mouse/keyboard combination). The whole deployment is performed through networking. The remote management module is configured in a way where the boards are turned off at initial power up. As to be accessible the remote management module must get a valid IP address from which an admin could connect to the remote management board. The IP allocation is performed through a DHCP request from the board. (static IP is supported only after initial setup and first connection to the admin interface). When the IP is allocated, the admin can setup:

  • A static IP to the management board (only through IPV4 protocol at the current state)
  • Start the motherboards and get connected to there console through the serial connection

The default configuration of each RuggedPOD micro ATX or mini ITX motherboard must be as follow:

  • System BIOS console output must be redirected to serial port connected to the remote management module
  • PXE/TFTP boot must be configured on the first gigabit ethernet port. If the system is configured with 10Gbps, it must be able to PXE boot on it

As a mandatory setup, RuggedPOD user must configure a PXE/TFTP boot server with bootable images allocated to the RuggedPOD configuration. The operating system setup can be then performed in interactive mode through serial console or through automatic scripting depending on system configuration.

CLI Interface

The CLI interface is automatically available when the admin connects through ssh with the admin account login. It does support the same command as the Web Interface. As to automatically connect to the CLI the admin can upload the ssh public key available into the web interface.

Rest Interface

The Rest Interface is used to automatically script administrative task, like automatic shutdown, restart operation, or power consumption monitoring. The Rest Interface implemented is a subset of the Microsoft OCS Rest Interface.

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