SC is the International Conference for
High Performance Computing, Networking,
Storage and Analysis

SCHEDULE: NOV 12-18, 2011

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Co-Designing HPC Systems and Facilities

SESSION: State of the Practice - Infra/Cooling/Mgmt

EVENT TYPE: State of the Practice

TIME: 3:30PM - 4:00PM

SESSION CHAIR: Robert A. Ballance

AUTHOR(S):Henry M. Tufo, Michael K. Patterson, Michael Oberg, Matthew Woitaszek, Guy Cobb, Robert Strong, Jim Gutowski


The design and procurement of supercomputers may require months, but the construction of a facility to house a supercomputer can extend to years. This paper describes the design and construction of a Top-50 supercomputer system and a fully-customized pre-fabricated facility to house it. The use of a co-design process reduced the time from conception to delivery to three months, commensurate with the amount of time it currently takes to deliver the computer system alone. Moreover, the facility was designed to provide efficient datacenter space for a 15-year lifespan. The design targets an expected yearly average power usage effectiveness (PUE) of 1.2, with a measured PUE of 1.1 to date. Leveraging the rapid deployment technologies in use by industry allowed the procurement of the complete environment, including the facility and the resource, in significantly less time than a machine room renovation and years less than a new building.

Chair/Author Details:

Robert A. Ballance (Chair) - Sandia National Laboratories

Henry M. Tufo - University of Colorado at Boulder

Michael K. Patterson - Intel Corporation

Michael Oberg - National Center for Atmospheric Research

Matthew Woitaszek - National Center for Atmospheric Research

Guy Cobb - University of Colorado at Boulder

Robert Strong - Critical Facilities Technology

Jim Gutowski - Dell Inc.

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The full paper can be found in the ACM Digital Library

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