Overcoming Space and Power Limitations in HPC Data Centers

By Salvatore Salamone

April 23, 2018

In companies of all sizes, critical applications are being adopted to accelerate product development, make forecasts based on predictive models, enhance business operations, and improve customer engagements. As a result, there is a growing need for Big Data analytics in many businesses, more sophisticated and more granular modeling and simulation, wide-spread adoption of AI (and the need to train neural nets), and new applications such as the use of genomic analysis in clinical settings and personalized medicine.

These applications generate workloads that overwhelm the capacity of most installed data center server systems. Simply put, today’s compute-intensive workloads require access to significant HPC resources.

Challenges bring HPC to the Mainstream

Many of today’s new and critical business applications are pushing the limits of traditional data centers. As a result, most companies that previously did not need HPC capabilities, now find such processing power is required to stay competitive. Unfortunately, several problems prevent this from happening.

When attempting to upgrade infrastructure, most organizations face inherent data center limitations with space and power. Specifically, many data centers lack the physical space to increase compute capacity significantly. And all organizations incur high electricity costs to run and cool servers, while some data centers have power constraints that cannot be exceeded.

Additionally, there is lack of internal HPC expertise. IT staff may not have the knowledge base to determine which HPC elements (including processors, memory, storage, power, and interconnects) are best for the organization’s workloads or the expertise to carry out HPC system integration and optimization. These skills have not been required in mainstream business applications until now.

As a result, most organizations need help when selecting an HPC solution to ensure it is the right match for the organization’s compute requirements and budget constraints, and one that fits into an existing data center.

Selecting the Right Technology Partner

Traditional clusters consisting of commodity servers and storage will not run the compute-intensive workloads being introduced into many companies today. Fortunately, HPC systems can be assembled using the newest generation of processors, high-performance memory, high-speed interconnect technologies, and high-performance storage device like NVMe SSDs.

However, to address data center space and power issues, an appropriate solution must deliver not just HPC capabilities, but the most compute power per watt in a densely packed enclosure.

To achieve this, it makes sense to find a technology partner with deep HPC experience who can bring together optimized systems solutions with rack hardware integration and software solution engineering to deliver ultimate customer satisfaction. This is an area where Super Micro Computer, Inc. can help.

Supermicro® has a wide-range of solutions to meet the varying HPC requirements found in today’s organizations. At the heart of its HPC offerings are the SuperBlade® and MicroBlade™ product lines, which are advanced high-performance, density-optimized, and energy-efficient solutions for scalable resource-saving HPC applications.

Both lines offer industry-leading performance, density, and energy efficiency. They support the option of BBP® (Battery Backup Power modules), so the systems provide extra protection to the data centers when a power outage or UPS failure occurs. This feature is ideal for critical workloads, ensuring uptime in the most demanding situations.

SuperBlade and MicroBlade solutions are offered in several form factors (8U, 6U, 4U, 3U) to meet the various compute requirements in different business environments.

At the high end of the spectrum, there is the 8U SuperBlade:

SBE-820C series enclosure supports 20x 2-socket (Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor) blade servers with 40 hot-plug NVMe SSDs or 10x 4-socket (Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor) blade servers with 80 hot-plug NVMe SSDs, 100Gbps EDR InfiniBand or 100Gbps Intel Omni-Path switch, and 2x 10GbE switches. This SKU is best for HPC, enterprise-class applications, cloud computing, and compute-intensive applications.

SBE-820J series enclosure supports 20x 2-socket (Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor) blade servers with 40 hot-plug NVMe SSDs or 10x 4-socket (Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor) blade servers with 80 hot-plug NVMe SSDs, and 4x Ethernet switches (25GbE/10GbE). This SKU is similar to the SKU above, except it is built to operate at 25G/10G Ethernet instead of 100G InfiniBand or Omni-Path. This solution is most suitable for HPC workloads in IT environments that leverage Ethernet switches with 40G or 100G uplinks.

The 8U SuperBlade offering includes the highest density x86 based servers that can support up to 205W Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor. One Supermicro customer at a leading semiconductor equipment company is using 8U SuperBlade systems for HPC applications with 120x 2-socket (Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor) blade servers per rack. This allows the company to save a significant amount of space and investment dollars in its data center.

Supermicro solutions helped a Fortune 50 Company scale its processing capacity to support its rapidly growing compute requirements. To address space limitations and power consumption issues, the company deployed over 75,000 Supermicro MicroBlade disaggregated, Intel® Xeon® processor-based servers at its Silicon Valley data center. Both SuperBlade and MicroBlade are equipped with advanced airflow and thermal design and can support free-air cooling. As a result, this data center is one of the world’s most energy efficient with a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of 1.06.

Compared to a traditional data center running at 1.49 PUE, this new Silicon Valley data center powered by Supermicro blade servers achieves an 88 percent improvement in overall energy efficiency. When the build-out is complete at a 35 megawatt IT load power, the company is targeting $13.18M in savings per year in total energy costs across the entire data center.

Summary

Supermicro provides customers around the world with application-optimized server, workstation, blade, storage, and GPU systems. Based on its advanced Server Building Block Solutions and system architecture innovations, Supermicro offers the industry’s most optimized selection for IT, datacenter, and HPC deployments. Its SuperBlade and MicroBlade solutions deliver industry-leading density and energy efficiency to address common data center limitations when scaling HPC capacity.

To learn how your organization can run new compute-intensive workloads while addressing space and power limitations, visit:  

http://www.supermicro.com/products/SuperBlade/

http://www.supermicro.com/products/MicroBlade/

 

 

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

ASC18: Final Results Revealed & Wrapped Up

May 17, 2018

It was an exciting week at ASC18 in Nanyang, China. The student teams braved extreme heat, extremely difficult applications, and extreme competition in order to cross the cluster competition finish line. The gala awards ceremony took place on Wednesday. The auditorium was packed with student teams, various dignitaries, the media, and other interested parties. So what happened? Read more…

By Dan Olds

ASC18: Tough Applications & Tough Luck

May 17, 2018

The applications at the ASC18 Student Cluster Competition were tough. Tougher than the $3.99 steak special at your local greasy spoon restaurant. The apps are so tough that even Chuck Norris backs away from them slowly. Read more…

By Dan Olds

Spring Meetings Underscore Quantum Computing’s Rise

May 17, 2018

The month of April 2018 saw four very important and interesting meetings to discuss the state of quantum computing technologies, their potential impacts, and the technology challenges ahead. These discussions happened in Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

HPC and AI Convergence is Accelerating New Levels of Intelligence

Data analytics is the most valuable tool in the digital marketplace – so much so that organizations are employing high performance computing (HPC) capabilities to rapidly collect, share, and analyze endless streams of data. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Mastering the Big Data Challenge in Cognitive Healthcare

Patrick Chain, genomics researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory, posed a question in a recent blog: What if a nurse could swipe a patient’s saliva and run a quick genetic test to determine if the patient’s sore throat was caused by a cold virus or a bacterial infection? Read more…

Quantum Network Hub Opens in Japan

May 17, 2018

Following on the launch of its Q Commercial quantum network last December with 12 industrial and academic partners, the official Japanese hub at Keio University is now open to facilitate the exploration of quantum applications important to science and business. The news comes a week after IBM announced that North Carolina State University was the first U.S. university to join its Q Network. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

ASC18: Final Results Revealed & Wrapped Up

May 17, 2018

It was an exciting week at ASC18 in Nanyang, China. The student teams braved extreme heat, extremely difficult applications, and extreme competition in order to cross the cluster competition finish line. The gala awards ceremony took place on Wednesday. The auditorium was packed with student teams, various dignitaries, the media, and other interested parties. So what happened? Read more…

By Dan Olds

Spring Meetings Underscore Quantum Computing’s Rise

May 17, 2018

The month of April 2018 saw four very important and interesting meetings to discuss the state of quantum computing technologies, their potential impacts, and th Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

Quantum Network Hub Opens in Japan

May 17, 2018

Following on the launch of its Q Commercial quantum network last December with 12 industrial and academic partners, the official Japanese hub at Keio University is now open to facilitate the exploration of quantum applications important to science and business. The news comes a week after IBM announced that North Carolina State University was the first U.S. university to join its Q Network. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Democratizing HPC: OSC Releases Version 1.3 of OnDemand

May 16, 2018

Making HPC resources readily available and easier to use for scientists who may have less HPC expertise is an ongoing challenge. Open OnDemand is a project by t Read more…

By John Russell

PRACE 2017 Annual Report: Exascale Aspirations; Industry Collaboration; HPC Training

May 15, 2018

The Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) today released its annual report showcasing 2017 activities and providing a glimpse into thinking about Read more…

By John Russell

US Forms AI Brain Trust

May 11, 2018

Amid calls for a U.S. strategy for promoting AI development, the Trump administration is forming a senior-level panel to help coordinate government and industry research efforts. The Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence was announced Thursday (May 10) during a White House summit organized by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Read more…

By George Leopold

Emerging Advanced Scale Tech Trends Focus of Annual Tabor Conference

May 9, 2018

At Tabor Communications' annual Advanced Scale Forum (ASF) held this week in Austin, the focus was on enterprise adoption of HPC-class technologies and high performance data analytics (HPDA). It’s a confab that brings together end users (CIOs, IT planners, department heads) and vendors and encourages... Read more…

By the Editorial Team

Google I/O 2018: AI Everywhere; TPU 3.0 Delivers 100+ Petaflops but Requires Liquid Cooling

May 9, 2018

All things AI dominated discussion at yesterday’s opening of Google’s I/O 2018 developers meeting covering much of Google's near-term product roadmap. The e Read more…

By John Russell

MLPerf – Will New Machine Learning Benchmark Help Propel AI Forward?

May 2, 2018

Let the AI benchmarking wars begin. Today, a diverse group from academia and industry – Google, Baidu, Intel, AMD, Harvard, and Stanford among them – releas Read more…

By John Russell

How the Cloud Is Falling Short for HPC

March 15, 2018

The last couple of years have seen cloud computing gradually build some legitimacy within the HPC world, but still the HPC industry lies far behind enterprise I Read more…

By Chris Downing

Russian Nuclear Engineers Caught Cryptomining on Lab Supercomputer

February 12, 2018

Nuclear scientists working at the All-Russian Research Institute of Experimental Physics (RFNC-VNIIEF) have been arrested for using lab supercomputing resources to mine crypto-currency, according to a report in Russia’s Interfax News Agency. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Inventor Claims to Have Solved Floating Point Error Problem

January 17, 2018

"The decades-old floating point error problem has been solved," proclaims a press release from inventor Alan Jorgensen. The computer scientist has filed for and Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Researchers Measure Impact of ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’ Patches on HPC Workloads

January 17, 2018

Computer scientists from the Center for Computational Research, State University of New York (SUNY), University at Buffalo have examined the effect of Meltdown Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Responds to Google TPU Benchmarking

April 10, 2017

Nvidia highlights strengths of its newest GPU silicon in response to Google's report on the performance and energy advantages of its custom tensor processor. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Deep Learning at 15 PFlops Enables Training for Extreme Weather Identification at Scale

March 19, 2018

Petaflop per second deep learning training performance on the NERSC (National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center) Cori supercomputer has given climate Read more…

By Rob Farber

AI Cloud Competition Heats Up: Google’s TPUs, Amazon Building AI Chip

February 12, 2018

Competition in the white hot AI (and public cloud) market pits Google against Amazon this week, with Google offering AI hardware on its cloud platform intended Read more…

By Doug Black

Leading Solution Providers

US Plans $1.8 Billion Spend on DOE Exascale Supercomputing

April 11, 2018

On Monday, the United States Department of Energy announced its intention to procure up to three exascale supercomputers at a cost of up to $1.8 billion with th Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Lenovo Unveils Warm Water Cooled ThinkSystem SD650 in Rampup to LRZ Install

February 22, 2018

This week Lenovo took the wraps off the ThinkSystem SD650 high-density server with third-generation direct water cooling technology developed in tandem with par Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC and AI – Two Communities Same Future

January 25, 2018

According to Al Gara (Intel Fellow, Data Center Group), high performance computing and artificial intelligence will increasingly intertwine as we transition to Read more…

By Rob Farber

Google Chases Quantum Supremacy with 72-Qubit Processor

March 7, 2018

Google pulled ahead of the pack this week in the race toward "quantum supremacy," with the introduction of a new 72-qubit quantum processor called Bristlecone. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE Wins $57 Million DoD Supercomputing Contract

February 20, 2018

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) today revealed details of its massive $57 million HPC contract with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The deal calls for HP Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

CFO Steps down in Executive Shuffle at Supermicro

January 31, 2018

Supermicro yesterday announced senior management shuffling including prominent departures, the completion of an audit linked to its delayed Nasdaq filings, and Read more…

By John Russell

Deep Learning Portends ‘Sea Change’ for Oil and Gas Sector

February 1, 2018

The billowing compute and data demands that spurred the oil and gas industry to be the largest commercial users of high-performance computing are now propelling Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Ups Hardware Game with 16-GPU DGX-2 Server and 18-Port NVSwitch

March 27, 2018

Nvidia unveiled a raft of new products from its annual technology conference in San Jose today, and despite not offering up a new chip architecture, there were still a few surprises in store for HPC hardware aficionados. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Share This