Over at the Personal Views on Research eInfrastruture Blog, Fabio Gallo from Eurotech writes that datacenter architects in Europe need to design for sustainability.
HPC (High Performance Computing) has long seen energy cost and availability as the biggest challenges for future developments. It is not a surprise that the HPC segment is currently adopting the most advanced solutions for energy efficiency, aiming to reduce consumption of both IT equipment and datacenter infrastructure, as well as reusing the thermal energy servers produce. Designing more energy efficient systems means taking an approach where efficiency comes first. This implies making HW and SW design choices that maximize performance within a target power budget, leveraging heterogeneous architectures, accelerators, solid state disks, no-fan liquid cooled systems and in general choosing always the components that can guarantee more efficiency.
Gallo goes on to say that such efficiencies come at a cost, and these econmomic realities are impeding progress towards sustainability.
As long as setting up an energy inefficient datacentre is an economically viable option for IT equipment owners, it is unlikely that substantial progress will be made towards reversing a dangerous trend. While the issue is a planetary one, now is a good time for Europe to take it in its own hands and show the planet the way towards a more responsible and energy conscious future for the IT industry and High Performance Computing.