SGI Modular HPC System Selected At the Department of Energy

Technical computing specialist SGI announced that it has partnered with URS Energy and Construction to design, build and deploy an energy efficient high performance computing (HPC) system housed in an SGI ICE Cube Air modular data center. It will support the United States Department of Energy (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory’s (NETL) Carbon Capture and Storage Initiative and its Electrical Grid Upgrade Programs which enable the transition to electric cars.

The modular HPC system will provide a peak performance of 500 Teraflops and is delivered over 378 SGI Rackable servers, housed in 40 racks, featuring 24,192 Intel Xeon ES2670 processors.  It will include 72 terabytes of system memory and nine petabytes of total storage. The system is connected via a high performance non-blocking InfiniBand fabric based on Mellanox ConnectX adapters and IS5600 enterprise-class 648-port switches. As part of this agreement, SGI Professional Services provides project management, installation support and training of URS and DOE staff involved in the project.

“To meet our charter of both leading and supporting energy options to fuel our national economy, as well as strengthening our national security and improving our environment, URS is pleased to work with SGI in the fabrication and deployment of this powerful, expandable and energy efficient modular data center,” said Dave Speed, operations manager, URS. “The system will be used by NETL to drive accelerated development of cleaner and more efficient methods of coal-based electricity production using computer-aided engineering and simulation, which allows us to skip building several generations of physical prototypes. This saves immense time and costs.”

Deploying green technologies is central to the DOE NETL mission, and URS selected the SGI ICE Cube Air to help achieve maximum energy efficiency and a low PUE. The ICE Cube Air contains highly efficient fans, along with a four-stage evaporative cooling system, that allows it to run with outside air and evaporative cooling in most climates, achieving a PUE ratio of 1.06 or less.

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About the Author

John Rath is a veteran IT professional and regular contributor at Data Center Knowledge. He has served many roles in the data center, including support, system administration, web development and facility management.

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