Liquid-cooled servers take next big step
Article Type: Feature Published: 11-2013 Views: 2210
Related Topics: Green Liquid-Cooled Servers Servers Energy Efficiency Cooling
Related Companies: Iceotope PRACE The Green Grid PSNC
Related Products: Iceotope system
| ||Sheffield-based Iceotope, the environmental cooling specialist, has announced the installation of its next generation liquid-cooled servers inside the Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center (PSNC) in Poland
Sheffield-based Iceotope, the environmental cooling specialist, has announced the installation of its next generation liquid-cooled servers inside the Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center (PSNC) in Poland - a 3,200 sq ft colocation facility offering shared HPC (High Performance Computing) services to scientists, universities and researchers from around the world.
The installation is part of the European PRACE Research Project (Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe) and was completed in June 2013. Since then, the Iceotope and PRACE teams have been running the systems on 'turbo mode' and collecting data on its environmental performance, the results of which have the potential to substantially reduce the environmental footprint of supercomputing operations.
REDUCING THE IMPACT
Iceotope was awarded the tender with PRACE, ahead of a rival bid from IBM, and has since installed 46 of its environmentally-friendly and high performance blade modules, alongside existing legacy air cooled servers. So far, the results for Iceotope have been impressive – with massive energy efficiency, operational, performance and utilisation benefits compared to traditional air cooled servers, and even other forms of liquid cooling.
Developed by The Green Grid, PUE is a metric for measuring data centre efficiency by weighing a data centre's total power consumption against the energy delivered to the servers. A PUE of 1.0 would mean that 100 percent of the data centre's energy is powering the IT equipment and best practice PUE for the IT sector is around 1.5-8.
"At the PSNC, we are able to overclock the machines and still use minimal power resources for cooling; no easy feat, I can assure you," says Iceotope founder and CEO, Peter Hopton. "Typically, data centre facilities will run their servers at around 40% utilisation, meaning that 60% of potential compute capacity remains unused. At Poznan PSNC, however, the Iceotope system was set up to run at above 90% utilisation, running a highly demanding 'Linux Stress' software programme designed to assess every aspect of compute including memory, CPU, servers and applications. The system has been running for periods of up to 3 months while undergoing testing of the system, the cooling and the high speed networking.
Whilst most IT professionals will employ 'underclocking' techniques, with very low utilisation rates, in order to minimise power usage; Iceotope's 1.03 PUE figure was calculated during several two week periods where systems were running full-time at over 90 percent utilisation. The majority of liquid cooling solutions in the market today are unable to operate over such long periods, and many require constant supervision during the periods in which they are running. Iceotope's system does not. The Iceotope Solution is decoupled at the module, cabinet and data centre level, offering 2N redundancy throughout and levels of reliability only found in air cooled servers until now.
VITAL ROLE OF PRACE
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