The Top 10 Data Center Images of 2012

Stampede Supercomputer

The Stampede supercomputer is housed in nearly 200 cabinets in a new data center at the Texas Advanced Computing center in Austin. (Photo: TACC)

The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) has recently launched its Stampede system, a new supercomputer that recorded a speed of 2.6 petaflops to place seventh in the most recent Top 500 ranking, but is expected to have an upper range closer to 10 petaflops upon full deployment. The Stampede system marks the first Top 10 appearance for a supercomputer using Xeon Phi, a coprocessor using Intel’s Many Integrated Core (MIC) architecture for highly parallel workloads.

Microsoft’s Dublin Data Center

Racks of servers housed inside the Microsoft data center in Dublin, Ireland which is undergoing a major expansion. (Photo: Microsoft).

Blinking lights. That’s what many “server farms” are known for, and the largest cloud facilities are packed with armadas of servers, creating extended vistas of blinking green and blue within the aisles of racks.  These servers live inside a hot aisle containment system in the huge Microsoft data center in Dublin, Ireland, which was expended early this year to add 13.2 megawatts of power capacity to support the company’s growing online services throughout Europe and the Middle East.

Titan (Oak Ridge Laboratory)

The Titan supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory is a 20-petaflop Cray XK7 system that is faster than the current Top 500 champion. (Photo: Oak Ridge National Laboratory)

In August, DCK provided a look inside the supercomputing center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee,  which features an unusual concentration of computing horsepower, focusing 18 megawatts of electric capacity on a 20,000 square foot raised-floor area. At the time, the staff was busy working with Cray and NVIDIA to upgrade the facility’s most powerful machine, named Jaguar. The system emerged in late October as Titan, a 200-cabinet system packing 20 petaflops of computing power. Titan has been accelerated by a hybrid computing architecture teaming traditional central processing units (CPUs) from AMD with the high-speed graphics processing units (GPUs) from NVIDIA to create a faster and more efficient machine. In mid-November, Titan was recognized as the new world champion of supercomputing, placing first in the annual Top 500 list. For more cool pictures of supercomputers, see The Top 10 Supercomputers, Illustrated.


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