PARIS, France, March 18 — Bull Poland has won a public tender to deliver what will be Poland’s largest warm water-cooled supercomputer, for the national center for nuclear research. The infrastructure will be cooled using the world’s most eco-efficient system, which relies on warm water. The technology will save the Swierk Data Center some €120,000 a year.
The new system – to be delivered following a bidding process that began last summer – will be based around the most innovative leading-edge cooling technology. The entire infrastructure will be provided by Bull Poland, a subsidiary of the Bull Group, the European leader in supercomputers.
“The chosen solution is the most efficient available today,” commented Professor Wojciech Wislicki, Project Director at the Swierk Data Center. “This is not only due to the fact that water is a highly effective cooling fluid, but also because the liquid in the system is around 35° C, so it is possible to use a passive cooling system throughout the year. Compared with more traditional cooling mechanisms that use cold water, which requires a refrigeration unit, we are hoping to save around €120,000 a year. The advantages of this technology are all the more clear when it is compared to those using air cooling. Set against these, our system should allow is to save up to 80% of the electricity that would have been consumed, not to mention the complexity and size of the units involved.”
Thanks to a substantial reduction in CO2 emissions, warm water-based cooling systems are the most eco-friendly on the market. Its high energy efficiency means this technology is recommended by the European Commission as a target solution for future large-scale computing centers.
“In Poland, this type of solution has only ever been used on pilot programs, on a very limited scale,” stressed Professor Gregorz Wrochna, Director of the National Center for Nuclear Research (NCBJ). “It’s no exaggeration to say that, when it comes to the industrial-scale use of warm water-based cooling technology, we are the pioneers in this country.”
According to Philippe Miltin, Executive Vice-President at Bull, “We are certain that our collaboration with the National Center for Nuclear Research will be rich in mutual benefits. Bull’s HPC programs represent a long-term commitment to Poland, where we are providing the highest levels of skills and expertise.”
Under the terms of this agreement, Bull will be delivering the following to the Swierk Data Center: 896 ten-core Intel Xeon E5 2680 v2 latest-generation processors; 57TB of RAM (in high-density 16GB modules); and 180TB of disk space utilizing high-performance 400GB SSD arrays.
In the system being installed at the Swierk Data Center, liquid cooling will extract heat directly from the core of the computer. However – unlike other less advanced solutions such as those used in enterprise servers – the liquid not only cools the processors, but also other heat-generating components such as memory and disks. The system has also been designed so that individual components can be swapped out for maintenance purposes without any risk of liquid escaping and with no need to interrupt the operation of the whole system.