DENVER, Colo., Nov. 18 — Eurotech, a leading provider of embedded and supercomputing technologies, will present their new concept of mini HPC system at SC13, the supercomputing conference starting today in Denver, CO.
In order to meet the growing demand for smaller HPC systems that cater SMEs and departments computational needs, as a way to bridge the gap between a $1000 workstation and a $10m data center, Eurotech presents to the market the Aurora G-Station, powered by NVIDIA Tesla GPU accelerators, and the Aurora Cube, the CPU-only version.
The Aurora products manage to work around the drawbacks that prevented the personal supercomputer concept to fly. First of all, they are fan-less so they make no noise thanks to the Aurora Direct Liquid Cooling technology. Second, they present no messy cabling thanks to an intelligent backplane which provides nodes interconnects and distributes the water and low voltage electrical power. Third, the G-Station and Cube are launched in a moment when the major industrial applications companies in CAE, CFD, rendering, computational chemistry, etc. are effectively proposing software solutions that scale better on CPUs but also over GPUs accelerators.
“Workstation are the still the widespread answer to departmental and SME high performance computing needs,” remarks Giovanbattista Mattiussi, head of HPC marketing at Eurotech – “But, although they are much more powerful now than few years ago, in many cases they are not enough. I recently visited an automotive customer and even though they had the most powerful workstations in the market networked together with Gb Ethernet, their simulations take from days to weeks to complete!”
Built on the same architectural grounds of the innovative and world greenest Aurora Tigon Supercomputers, the Aurora G-Station and Cube maximize performance, energy efficiency and high density.
“The challenges we faced in developing the G-Station were mostly in the packaging of it to combine high computational power, low noise operations, compactness and simplicity of deployment/installation,” says Paul Arts, Eurotech HPC R&D director. “A fully loaded G-Station has a peak performance of over 22 TFlop/s, and despite an efficiency of over 3.2 GFlops/watt, we needed to cool the resulting heat of such high performance in the most silent way, so avoiding fans as much as we could.”
“It was determinant we could leverage the Aurora water-cooled architecture,” continues Arts. “Our Aurora motherboards are entirely water cooled, including the NVIDIA GPU accelerators. Avoiding fans, water cooling represents the most silent way possible to cool a computer.”
Water cooling and high density design provide noiselessness and compactness to allow the deployment of Aurora mini clusters even in an office, with no need of a controlled environment at all. The Auroras are equipped with heaters, valves and everything needed to prevent dew point condensation, while the Aurora hot water cooling technology allows water temperature of over 50 °C (122 °F). This means that the Eurotech systems provide a self-sufficient way of controlling the environmental variables, resulting in an extremely powerful HPC cluster with the same “deployability” of a simple workstation.
The Eurotech G-Station and Cube are marketed in 2 versions, with identical IT features but different water cooling solutions.
One version of the product has integrated water cooling, giving the advantage of a standalone system with no need of additional plumbing.
The other version is split, with the computational unit in a cube that fits under a table and the cooling unit (heat exchanger plus pump) in a separate unit that can be accommodated outside the building, with the same technical complexity and plumbing requirements of a home split air conditioner.
As for the specs, the G-Station mounts up to 8 water cooled boards each with double Intel Xeon E5 v2 8-12 cores CPU, double NVIDIA Tesla K20, K20X or K40 GPU accelerators and up to 128 GB DDR3 RAM. In the Aurora Cube, the total number of boards becomes 16. The nodes are interconnected with Infiniband QDR and Gb Ethernet (optionally). Both the G-Station and the Cube have an integrated management node (the Eurotech Antares ICE 1U server product), optional fast storage and remote visualization capabilities supported by NICE DCV software.
Eurotech plans to provide the liquid cooled “mini clusters” with the software stack including firmware, operating system, drivers, cluster manager, resource manager, monitoring software and remote visualization support. Eurotech will offer a mix of open source and commercial solutions depending on customer requirements. While Eurotech will rely on VARs and SIs to configure and characterize the products for the customers, the company has approached the development and management of the product with an appliance style mind-set, working on tests and benchmarks with companies like Altair, Ansys (Enginsoft), Esteco, Autodesk, NICE and ray-tracing software vendors.