High-performance computing center “Green Cube” receives major international award
The energy- and cost-saving high-performance computing center “Green Cube” currently under construction at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung has been presented with a major international award as an innovative data center at the European Congress for Computing Centers and Cloud Computing, “Datacloud 2015”. On Tuesday evening it received one of the main awards, the renowned “Datacloud Enterprise Datacentre Award”, in Monte Carlo. The award is presented in recognition of outstanding technical developments. In the case of the “Green Cube” this is the extremely high processing power for the scientific users coupled with its outstanding energy and cost efficiency.
The Green Cube will allow for the efficient analysis of enormous data volumes acquired from experiments on the accelerator facilities at GSI and the future accelerator facility FAIR. Upon overall completion the “Green Cube” will be one of the biggest scientific data centers in the world, with a cooling capacity of twelve megawatts. It will also accommodate the world’s most energy-efficient supercomputer, the high-performance computer L-CSC, which currently occupies first place in “Green500”, the global ranking of energy-saving supercomputers. With one watt of electrical power the L-CSC attains a computing volume of 5.27 billion computing operations per second.
The “Green Cube” will go into operation in the autumn of this year in an initial configuration. The “Green Cube” is being constructed on the GSI site in line with a concept developed by the head of the information technology division of GSI, Professor Volker Lindenstruth at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies (FIAS) and at Goethe University Frankfurt. Thanks to a new cooling concept, considerable cost savings are possible, both in the construction phase and once in operation. The investment costs through to overall completion will amount to some 16 million euros.
The key to the high energy and cost efficiency of the “Green Cube” is a special cooling system, with which the resulting heat is already dissipated in the doors of the computer cabinets using water cooling. Thus the cooling energy required is reduced to one tenth compared to conventional supercomputers. Moreover, the computing center does not require any complex cooling of the ambient air and the computer cabinets can even be stacked right next to one another similarly to a high rack warehouse, which in turn reduces the investment costs. The “Green Cube” data center will require less than ten per cent of the electrical power needed by the computers for the cooling and the remaining operation (technicians call this PUE<1.1).
The Datacloud Award with which the “Green Cube” has now been honored was presented for the eighth time for outstanding achievements in the development of computing centers and cloud computing – the use of mainframe computers over the internet – at the Datacloud Conference. There are winners in ten main categories as well as a special prize from the judges.