The use of commodity components in HPC has made supercomputers bigger and cheaper to buy while driving their operating costs through the roof. Where once stood 100 KW supercomputers, systems of 1,000 KW and up are common. Even if you aren’t motivated to save the environment, you probably are getting a lot of pressure to reduce costs. But where to start? By not pampering your processors.
Generally datacenter managers today follow ASHRAE guidelines when deciding how to cool their machine rooms, which specify that datacenters operate between 20 and 25 degrees C, about 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit. But server manufacturers routinely build IT equipment to withstand temperatures up to 100 degrees F, and higher routine operating temperatures are possible with a little engineering. In this episode we talk with LBNL’s Horst Simon, Microsoft’s Christian Belady, and HP’s Steve Cumings to find out why we persist in running machine rooms as cold as meat lockers, and what we can do about it.
And if you are certain that you couldn’t possibly run 5 servers outside in a leaky tent for 9 months with 100% uptime, you’ll definitely want to listen to this episode.