Green HPC Podcast Episode 2: IT, HPC, and where the twain shall meet
Is energy use in IT even big enough to matter? What about HPC? In the second episode of the Green HPC podcast series we put those questions to our guests, talk them about the primary drivers for the adoption of energy aware (“green”) computing practices in IT at large, and then home in on HPC and how the customers, workloads, and solutions differ between the two.
Listen to Episode 2: IT, HPC, and where the twain shall meet
In this episode we start off by hearing from Pat Tiernan of the Climate Savers Computing Initiative. The EPA’s estimates of all energy use for information and communications technology in the US is only about 1.5% of the nation’s total consumption — Tiernan explains why that small number is big enough to matter today, and he talks about the regulatory inevitabilities that are going to make energy use in computing a big deal tomorrow.
Pete Beckman of Argonne National Laboratory’s Leadership Computing Facility gives us his response to my challenge that, if IT’s 1.5% slice of the total energy use pie is small, HPC’s slice is minuscule and should be under everyone’s radar. Beckman argues against that point of view, and points toward the technology trickle down that will multiply investments in green HPC into IT in general.
Next up are Steve Cumings and Ed Turkel of HP, a company that figures prominently in both the enterprise and supercomputing markets, about the differences in the motivations and behaviors of the two sets of customers and why the green technologies they each adopt tend to be very different.
Despite the very practical motivations HPC practitioners have for managing and reducing energy use, adoption in our community has been slow. This episode of the series closes out with Microsoft’s Christian Belady talking about the factors that will accelerate the adoption of green technologies in our community.
Listen to Episode 2: IT, HPC, and where the twain shall meet
Guest Bios and Links
Pat Tiernan, Climate Savers Computing Initiative
Started by Google and Intel in 2007, the Climate Savers Computing Initiative is a nonprofit group of eco-conscious consumers, businesses and conservation organizations. The Initiative was started in the spirit of WWF’s Climate Savers program which has mobilized over a dozen companies since 1999 to cut carbon dioxide emissions, demonstrating that reducing emissions is good business.
Pat Tiernan is CSCI’s Executive Director. Before joining Climate Savers Computing, Pat Tiernan served on the Initiative’s board of directors as a representative of HP. At HP, Pat Tiernan was the vice president of Social and Environmental Responsibility, running the company’s sustainability programs. He joined HP in 1995 and has held a number of senior management positions in sales, marketing, product development/R&D and operations. Prior to joining HP, he helped launch a successful networking and software company and managed a global device business with an industrial technologies company where he developed and launched new products for automotive emissions compliance, patient monitoring and other commercial and consumer products. Pat Tiernan holds a Masters in Science from California State Polytechnic University.
Pete Beckman, Argonne National Lab
Pete Beckman is a recognized global expert in high-end computing systems. During the past 20 years, he has designed and built software and architectures for large-scale parallel and distributed computing systems. Pete joined Argonne National Laboratory in 2002, as Director of Engineering, and later as Chief Architect for the TeraGrid, where he designed and deployed the world’s most powerful Grid computing system for linking production HPC computing centers for the National Science Foundation. In 2008 he became the Director for the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility, which is home to one of the world’s fastest and most energy efficient supercomputers for open science. He also leads Argonne’s exascale computing strategic initiative and explores system software and programming models for exascale computing.
- Argonne Leadership Computing Facility
- Argonne Leadership Computing Facility working to get more science per watt
- Argonne Leadership Computing Facility makes it easy to be green
- Argonne’s big baby at Flickr, a Blue Gene/P
Ed Turkel, HP
Ed Turkel manages the business development team for the Scalable Computing and Infrastructure organization (SCI) at HP. SCI provides leadership for the next generation of scale-out computing, storage and data center infrastructure for high-performance computing, Web 2.0 and cloud computing.
His team is responsible for driving HP’s business across the HPC, Web 2.0 and data center infrastructure markets. Turkel has more than 30 years of experience in scalable computing, including more than 25 years with HP in various technical, marketing and business roles.
- HP’s Green Business Technology Initiative
- Energy efficiency in the data center
- Energy efficiency for the enterprise
- HP Power Play
- Design or the Environment
Steve Cumings, HP
Steve Cumings leads an HP team focused on data center infrastructure solutions. His responsibilities include defining and managing portfolios for data center energy and infrastructure, and introducing new solutions to the market – the most recent of these is the HP POD, HP’s flexible and highly capable datacenter container. Steve’s focus is on solutions that expand HP’s datacenter portfolio, supporting customers’ needs for increased data center energy performance.
In twelve years with HP Steve has led multiple product and business activities across HP’s Industry Standard Server division, and has been involved in key initiatives ranging from large-scale x86 platforms to the HP/Compaq merger team. He also speaks and leads sessions at industry events, including in the recent past Gartner Datacenter, HP’s TechForum, CIAB (Brazil) and Emerson DCUG.
Christian Belady, Microsoft
Christian Belady is Microsoft’s Principal Power and Cooling Architect for Global Foundation Services’ Infrastructure Services team where his role is to improve both efficiency and cost in their online services infrastructure. In addition, his responsibilities included driving initiatives for sustainability in the data center and infrastructure space.
Prior to Microsoft, Christian was Server Hardware Architect driving the technology directions of HP’s servers from a power, cooling and packaging perspective where he gained recognition as an industry leader in the area of server and data center efficiency. With over 60 US patents, Christian is an ASME Fellow, an IMAPS Fellow and a founding member of ASHRAE’s TC9.9, which is responsible for developing data center guidelines. He was one of the early architects of the Green Grid, and continues to participate actively with the group. He also works closely with government agencies globally to define efficiency metrics for data centers and servers. Christian has published several dozen papers and is a featured speaker on power and cooling trends at events across the industry.
- Blog post by Christian talking a little further about his interview
- Microsoft’s Global Foundation Services website
- Microsoft’s Top 10 Business Practices for Environmentally Sustainable Data Center
- Running servers in tents