Eurotech is building energy-aware HPC systems monitored by the DEEP project


25 Jun 2014 Leipzig - In the session "HPC in Europe" at ISC'14 in Leipzig, Paul Arts from Eurotech presented the efforts of his company to build faster and more energy-efficient solutions for the future of HPC in Europe. Eurotech has been building supercomputers for the last 15 years. In origin, Eurotech is an American company but it has headquarters in Italy and also a technical centre in Japan.

Eurotech builds machine with an energy-aware design in which accelerators are leveraged, Paul Arts stated. The design is optimized in a way that there are no unused components.

Eurotech believes in liquid cooling. Hot water is used wherever possible. It is directly taken inside the rack in order to bring it in direct contact with the components. Liquid cooling is green because it is able to use free cooling in any climate zone. It is also comprehensive because it cools any source of heat in the server including the power supply. In addition, it is serviceable and safe, explained Paul Arts.

The MIC Ganglia has 7 power measurable points, with core and GDDR frequency, including core and memory load and a bandwidth PCIe link.

In the DEEP project, funded by the European Commission, data are gathered from the cluster, using booster monitoring and a framework written by the Leibniz Supercomputing Center. The Eurotech energy-aware design is monitored in the DEEP project where the energy consumption is measured, stated Paul Arts. Correlations with regard to the relationship between power and temperature are being performed.

The next step will be to automatically optimize the energy usage by the user with a minimum impact on the performance.

A new approach is to let users pay for the time and energy of the HPC system. The following elements are being considered: the compute versus the I/O phase; and whether the use is memory bound, I/O bound or compute bound, according to Paul Arts.

Simple actuators are the real-time energy measurement; the CPU frequency and voltage scaling; the accelerator frequency and voltage scaling; the memory frequency; the communication speed; and the fact whether the accelerators are turned on or off.

Paul Arts held a plea for the concept of an end user cockpit, just like the ECO switch of a car. The ECO switch will activate all energy saving settings automatically. The performance will activate the maximum CPU speed, memory speed, and I/O speed.

Real-time feedback to the end user is of key importance to provide information on the energy consumption and speed indication.

The next steps will be to build a demo data centre that uses solar panels to power the computer and the heat generated to heat the building. The goal is to create a zero emission data centre, stated Paul Arts.

Eurotech is working with partners to measure the real-time energy consumption. In that way, measurements on the real-time optimization of the energy usage can be provided and this data can be represented to the end users, concluded Paul Arts.
Leslie Versweyveld