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Leibniz Supercomputing Centre Celebrates Double Victory at German Data Center Awards 2018

GCS NewsFlash 07/2018

The Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) further solidified its role as a leader in high-performance computing (HPC) centre energy efficiency. Two cooling technology solutions implanted at the Garching-based GCS centre by its technology partners Fahrenheit GmbH and MEGWARE Computer Vertrieb and Service GmbH recently took home first and second prize respectively in the 2018 German Data Centre Awards (Deutscher Rechenzentrumspreis). Fahrenheit and MEGWARE beat out 11 other nominations in the category “Data Centre Cooling and Climatization.” In total, 51 nominees competed across 8 categories for this year's awards.

The first-place award honoured the cooling solution implemented at LRZ by Fahrenheit GmbH–an adsorption cooling technology using the low-temperature residual heat from servers for chilling air-cooled components or for air conditioning the data centre itself. By re-using the server heat–instead of electric power–to drive chillers, the technology can save up to 90 percent of the electricity required for cooling. Based on the company's zeolite crystallization process, the technology makes adsorption feasible at the low-drive temperatures typical for CPUs (from 50°C). The technology, which already is used at LRZ for its HPC system CoolMUC-3, will–at a much larger scale–also be implemented for the centre's next-generation HPC system, SuperMUC-NG, which is scheduled to become operational in late 2018.

With it's supercomputer CoolMUC-3, implemented at LRZ by its partner MEGWARE, LRZ also secured second place in the category. CoolMUC-3 impressed the jury with its key feature of cooling all compute and login nodes, power supply units, and Omni-Path switches directly with hot water in thermally insulated racks. This procedure ensures that a maximum of only 3% waste heat is released into the ambient air -- even when operating at a cooling water temperature of 40°C and a room temperature of 25°C. CoolMUC-3 features the latest generation of Intel Xeon Phi processors, which integrate the fabric adapter and are thus directly interconnected via the Intel Omni-Path high-performance network.

"Here at the LRZ, the subject of energy efficient supercomputing has been a very important topic for many years," said Professor Dr. Dieter Kranzlmüller, director of LRZ. "In fact, it has evolved into one of our central research fields. It is one of LRZ's self-imposed goals to continuously forge new paths that promise to improve our HPC centre's energy efficiency. The fact that the cooling technology solutions implemented at LRZ by our partners Fahrenheit and Megware are being honoured with the Data Centre Awards fills us with pride as it reaffirms that we are on the right track. We will continue to relentlessly pursue each and every option for helping us further improve energy efficiency."

Further information on LRZ and its implemented adsorption cooling technologies can be found here and here, and on CoolMUC-3 here.

The German Data Centre Award ceremony was part of the event “Future Thinking”, an annual data centre conference, held in Darmstadt on April 24, 2018.