Scandinavia Develops Efficient, Shared-Resource HPC Data Center

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Scandinavia Develops Efficient, Shared-Resource HPC Data Center

Scandinavian countries develop carbon-neutral, shared-resource HPC data center using Intel and HP technologies.

Due to growing power consumption and soaring power costs, supercomputing costs are an increasing economic burden for researchers and their universities in Scandinavia. To address these challenges, the national academic research infrastructure organizations of Sweden, Denmark, and Norway worked together to develop a green, low-cost data center to provide resources that could be remotely shared. Located in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, the Advania Thor Data Center (AT/DC) uses powerful natural resources and cost-efficient natural air cooling. Its high-performance computing (HPC) platform consists of 288 HP ProLiant* BL280c G6 servers powered by Intel® Xeon® processors 5600 series. This innovative facility provides a new model for shared, energy-cheap, and energy-efficient HPC resources, potentially changing the future delivery of computing services.

Challenges
• Cost-efficient HPC: Scandinavian countries were paying high charges for HPC and, faced with spiraling energy costs, were concerned about diminishing returns for supercomputing investments.
• Working together: Representatives from Norway, Denmark, and Sweden aimed to develop an energy-efficient data center that provided HPC resources that researchers across the region could have shared access to.

Solutions
• Carbon-neutral: Advania, one of the largest IT companies in the region, was charged with developing a carbon-neutral, energy-efficient data center.
• Natural resources: The data center was located in Iceland, where natural power resources and free cooling mean much cheaper energy costs.
• Powerful platform: HP and its reseller Opin Kerfi developed a 288-node cluster based on HP ProLiant 280c G6 servers and the Intel Xeon processor 5600 series.

Impact
• Low cost: Lower energy costs could result in the total cost of ownership (TCO) falling by up to 50 percent.
• Shared resources: Universities and research organizations from across the region are beginning to share the HPC resources, signaling a political shift in, and willingness to share, supercomputing resources.
• Elite benefits: AT/DC provides high-performance computing with low TCO, low power usage, and green power usage.

Read the full Scandinavia Develops Efficient, Shared-Resource HPC Data Center Case Study.

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