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High Performance Computing

What Is A High Performance Computer?

A high performance computer (HPC) essentially contains the same elements as a standard desktop, just more of them! So, the fundamental component parts are the same - processors, memory and operating system. High performance computers, in essence, are really groups or “clusters” of computers.

Within these small clusters, each individual computer will have anywhere between one and four processors and, quite often, those processors have between two to four cores.

Within the industry, these individual computers are often referred to as “nodes”. The size of these clusters and the number of nodes depends on the size of the organisation in question.

The idea behind high performance computing is that the individual nodes work together to solve a problem larger than any one computer can easily solve alone. The nodes talk to one another – over networks - in order to work meaningfully together. A HPC cluster also needs software to run – often Linux or Windows.

Heat - The Common Enemy

One common problem that occurs when there’s such a density of computers all in one location is the amount of waste heat produced.

For HPC cooling, this heat needs to be extracted and removed as quickly and as efficiently as possible. Loads can change considerably from one rack to another which makes traditional methods of air cooling very ineffective.

The resulting effect is often either having to work in really high temperatures or in hurricane like conditions as vast amounts of air are circulated in an attempt to remove the heat.

The simple tried and tested – and the most energy efficient, greenest - way of achieve HPC cooling is to use a Rear Door Cooler as used in many of our Data Centre Cooling solutions. This gives a neutral room condition, the air at the back of the rack is the same as the air on the front of the rack, it can operate within ASHRAE guidance, even with water temperatures of up to 27°C and gives the most system resilience, no matter where the load is at that moment in time.

HPC Cooling - Leak Prevention System

The only reservation that most people have to with this method is the close proximity of cooling water to their expensive hard ware and invaluable data. In this respect, Aqua Cooling’s patented Leak Prevention System (LPS) is a complete game changer.

It removes all risk of leak – the chilled or ambient cooled water is under negative pressure at all times – and gives you a 100% leak-free guarantee.

Most hosting companies would love to have a HPC area within their facility but worry that the introduction of HPC, and the subsequent increased cooling load, will disrupt their existing set up.

Not any more - with a simple LPS and rear door installation you have a simple, low cost and highly effective way of increasing your revenue streams and revitalising your Data Centre.

Contact Aqua if you want to find out more about our award-winning, High Performance Computing cooling and Supercomputer cooling systems.