Green IT Cube: supercomputing center for GSI and FAIR

The "Green IT Cube" on the GSI/FAIR campus is one of the most powerful scientific data centers in the world. At the same time, it sets standards in IT technology and energy saving: Thanks to a special cooling system, it is particularly energy and cost efficient. Instead of air, the computers are cooled with water. As a result, the energy used for cooling corresponds to less than seven percent of the electrical power used for computing. In conventional data centers with air cooling, this ratio is 30 to 100 percent. The innovative cooling system also enables a compact and thus space-saving design. Scientists use the "Green IT Cube" at GSI and FAIR to perform simulations and develop detectors for FAIR. They also evaluate measurement data from experiments at the accelerator facilities of GSI and FAIR.

Construction time

  • 1 year (December 2014 to November 2015)
  • Commissioning: January 2016

Costs

  • Construction costs: around €12 million
  • Investment costs in final construction: €16 million

Dimensions

  • Main building: footprint 27 meters x 30 meters, height 22 meters
  • Supply building: floor area 27 meters x 13 meters, height 7 meters
  • Levels: 6

Maximum number of racks

  • 768 racks a 2.2 meter height

Cooling system

  • Waste heat utilization for heating an office and canteen building
  • Cooling capacity 4 megawatts (final capacity 12 megawatts)
  • pumping capacity 1300 cubic meters per hour
  • less than 7% of electrical power for cooling (PUE<1.07)
  • water cooling in doors of computer cabinets
  • no room air cooling necessary, allows spatially dense "high-bay storage" stacking

Awards

  • Blue Angel eco-label from the German government (2020)
  • Green IT Cube: Datacloud Enterprise Datacentre Award 2015
  • L-CSC: Green500, 3rd place (as of November 2015)
  • Green IT Cube: DataCenterDynamics Awards 2013
  • 1st prize Data Center Blueprints
  • 2nd prize Leadership in the Public Sector
  • 2nd prize Innovation in IT Optimization
  • Data center/computer concept: Green IT Best Practice Award 2011

Cabling

  • Three-dimensional for short transmission paths

Data transmission FAIR expansion

  • Greater than 1 terabyte per second

Computing cores (06.2021)

  • approx. 600 nodes / 35,000 cores (70,000 virtual cores)
  • 400 GPUs

Storage capacities (06.2021)

  • GSI total: 35 Petabyte net
  • FAIR expansion: 100 petabytes
  • Magnetic tape robot with 4280 tape slots with 62 PetaByte uncompressed

More information at the group Data Center


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