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April 26, 2012
Energy consumption accounts for a large portion of datacenter operating budgets. The added environmental impact compounded with capital costs has motivated operators to increase the efficiency and lower the cost of computing. Last year, Facebook spun up the Open Compute Project, with the goal of improving datacenter designs to meet those goals.
So far, the project has produced a number of components including a server chassis, a battery cabinet and two x86 motherboards. All of the designs are freely available to download from their website.
To rate efficiency, datacenters calculate their power usage effectiveness (PUE) ratio. The rating compares how much incoming power to energy used for computational processes. One estimate puts the average datacenter PUE at 1.8. Larger Internet players have used some unique solutions to bring that number closer to the 1.0 mark, with Google currently averaging a 1.14 PUE.
Prineville, Oregon is home to one of the world’s most efficient datacenters. Built by Facebook, the center utilizes designs from the Open Compute Project as well as innovative LED lighting and gray water facilities to receive a 1.07 PUE rating at full load.
Ken Pratchett, Manager of the Prineville data center, discussed the cost and efficiency of the Open Compute Servers, “These machines are 38 percent more efficient than another machine that you could find on the open market,” he said. “In fact, they cost 24 percent less to create.”
The combination of green technologies implemented at the Oregon datacenter earned it a Gold Certification from the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Compared to other datacenters built to code, it consumed 52 percent less energy and 72 percent less water for occupant use. It also recycles captured water for landscape irrigation.
Next month, the Open Compute Project will hold a summit in San Antonio. The two-day event will include the following workshops:
The consumer-driven demand for computer technology has spurred the need for more and larger datacenters, resulting in increased energy consumption and higher operational costs. Examples like the one in Prineville not only lead to innovation in the field of green datacenter technology, but also provide a framework for cost-effective operations as well.
The Xeon Phi coprocessor might be the new kid on the high performance block, but out of all first-rate kickers of the Intel tires, the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) got the first real jab with its new top ten Stampede system.We talk with the center's Karl Schultz about the challenges of programming for Phi--but more specifically, the optimization...
Although Horst Simon was named Deputy Director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, he maintains his strong ties to the scientific computing community as an editor of the TOP500 list and as an invited speaker at conferences.
Supercomputing veteran, Bo Ewald, has been neck-deep in bleeding edge system development since his twelve-year stint at Cray Research back in the mid-1980s, which was followed by his tenure at large organizations like SGI and startups, including Scale Eight Corporation and Linux Networx. He has put his weight behind quantum company....
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In this demonstration of SGI DMF ZeroWatt disk solution, Dr. Eng Lim Goh, SGI CTO, discusses a function of SGI DMF software to reduce costs and power consumption in an exascale (Big Data) storage datacenter.
The Cray CS300-AC cluster supercomputer offers energy efficient, air-cooled design based on modular, industry-standard platforms featuring the latest processor and network technologies and a wide range of datacenter cooling requirements.