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Warm Water-Cooling enables a fanless design for new Lenovo ThinkSystem SD650

Today Lenovo unveiled the new ThinkSystem SD650 server and NeXtScale n1200 Direct Water Cooling for energy-efficient, high-density computing. Already deployed at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre in Germany, the ThinkSystem SD650 will save customers up to 40% on energy costs while delivering a 10-15% performance improvement over air-cooled systems.

According to thermal engineer Vinod Kamath from Lenovo, energy efficiency can be a leading metric for HPC deployments in Europe, which is driving the deployment of warm water-based clusters. At Lenovo, our team of engineers has worked tirelessly to deliver highly innovative cooling solutions that ensure optimal performance while maximizing energy efficiency, to reduce operating costs at the same time. The new ThinkSystem SD650 is a prime example of that innovation. The system utilizes warm water instead of air to cool the components, including the CPUs and memory. Water conducts heat more efficiently, allowing customers to run their processors in “turbo” mode continuously, resulting in a performance improvement. The SD650 HPC servers have no system fans, operate at lower temperatures when compared to standard air-cooled systems and have negligible datacenter chilled water requirements. The result – lower datacenter power consumption of 30-40% compared to traditional cooling methods.

Given the fact that the data center footprint is typically limited, the need to efficiently deploy HPC hardware is a challenge that can be met only with liquid cooling technologies. When customer compute demand requires optimal utilization of data center real estate footprint, energy and performance, warm water cooling combined with dense system packaging can deliver a reliable and efficient HPC environment, with a cooling capacity of 3-4X the efficiency of air cooling methods.

LRZ is a prime example of how large-scale deployments of HPC resources utilize this new approach. LRZ is installing compute capacity of roughly 26.7 Petaflops with about 6,500 Lenovo SD650 servers. The new SD650 HPC deployment will be housed in a dense rack of 72 performance servers that consume 43kW and will be cooled with Lenovo’s novel high-performance direct water cooling technology. LRZ currently has installed prior generations of Lenovo’s warm water cooling servers and offers about 2 billion compute hours per year with their existing 6.8 petaflop HPC cluster.

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