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    Wednesday
    Sep302009

    Nvidia Fermi chip powers Supercomputer for Energy and Climate Change

    To research energy and climate change requires some of the faster computers.  News.com covers the release of a chip expected to be 10 times more powerful than today’s fastest supercomputer.

    Supercomputer to use new Nvidia 'Fermi' chip

    by Brooke Crothers

    Updated at 6:40 p.m. PDT: adding additional information about Fermi chip .

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory announced plans today for a new supercomputer that will use Nvidia's next-generation GPU architecture, codenamed "Fermi."

    The Oak Ridge and Fermi announcements were made at Nvidia's GPU Technology developer's conference, which kicked off Wednesday in San Jose, Calif. The Fermi chip integrates three billion transistors, about three times the number of transistors in Nvidia's most powerful graphics chip now on the market. In the future, the chip will also find its way into Nvidia's GeForce product line for PCs.

    Oak Ridge's supercomputer will be used for research in energy and climate change and is expected to be 10 times more powerful than today's fastest supercomputer, according to a joint statement from Oak Ridge and Nvidia. The architecture would use both graphics processing units (GPUs) from Nvida and central processing units (CPUs), according to Nvidia. Intel and Advanced Micro Devices, among others, make the CPUs.

    High-end GPUs today typically contain hundreds of processing cores, allowing them to accelerate certain types of computational tasks much more efficiently, and thereby much faster, than CPUs. The new Fermi chip will have a little more than twice as many cores as current high-end Nvidia GPUs, according to Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang, jumping from 240 cores to 512 in Fermi.

    Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang shows graphics card with new Fermi chip Wednesday

    Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang shows graphics card with new Fermi chip Wednesday

    (Credit: Nvidia)

    Fermi GPUs would enable "substantial scientific breakthroughs" that would be impossible without the new technology, said Jeff Nichols, Oak Ridge's associate lab director for Computing and Computational Sciences, in a statement.

    "With the help of Nvidia technology, Oak Ridge proposes to create a computing platform that will deliver exascale computing within ten years," Nichols said. Exascale computing proposes to go beyond petaflop performance (a thousand trillion) to one million trillion calculations per second.

    If you don’t have the budget of Oak Ridge National labs you can try Supermicro’s GPU solutions that I would expect to support the fermi chip.

    Supermicro GPU-Optimized Supercomputing Server Solutions

    The SS6016GT GPU Supercomputing Servers establish Supermicro as the true global IT hardware leader in server architecture, performance, and Green computing. Generating massively parallel processing power and unrivaled networking flexibility with two double-width GPUs or up to 5 expansion slots in a 1U form factor, the SS6016GT is performance and quality optimized for the most computationally-intensive applications. Supermicro's unique server designs with Gold Level power supplies, energy-saving motherboards and enterprise class server management optimize cooling for even the most demanding applications, providing the perfect technology platform for these impressive GPU Supercomputing Servers.
    With performance bettering a small computer cluster while packing the punch (2-4 Teraflops) in a 1U, and 4U form factor, these GPU optimized solutions are ideal for Scientific computing, EDA, oil & gas exploration, military, science, and other computational intensive applications.






    Medical
    Imaging

    Oil & Gas Exploration
    Quantum
    Chemistry

    Financial
    Simulation

    3-D Rendering
    & Gaming

    Astrophysics

    [ Press Release / Flyer 1 / Flyer 2 / In Design / White Paper]


    GPU-Integrated 1U SuperServers (Graphics cards are included)


    80PLUS Gold Level6016GT-TF-TM2
    • Dual Quad/Dual-Core Intel® Xeon® processors 5500 series
    • Intel® 5520 chipset with QPI up to 6.4GT/s
    • Up to 96GB of Reg. ECC DDR3 DIMM 1333/1066/800 MHz SDRAM
    • 2x NVIDIA Tesla M1060 GPU Cards
       PCI-E 2.0 x4 (in x16 slot - Low-Profile)
    • 3x hot-swap 3.5" drive bays
    • Matrox G200eW graphics controller
    • 8x counter-rotating fans with optimal fan speed control
    • IPMI 2.0 with virtual media over LAN and KVM-ove-LAN
    • Dual LAN with Intel 82576 Gigabit Ethernet controller
    • 1400W high-efficiency Gold Level (93%) Power Supply with PMbus

    Click to read more ...

    Tuesday
    Sep292009

    Microsoft’s Dublin Green Data Center Coverage

    I’ve known about Microsoft’s Dublin data center, and now that there is official coverage, I can blog about it.  The Dublin area was a good opportunity for Microsoft to push for the greenest data center. 

    I’ve been to Ireland many times visiting Apple and Microsoft facilities, and my name Dave Ohara so many times my name gets spelled with an apostrophe (like O’Hara).  But I am not Irish even though I have kissed the Blarney stone and bought a family crest for my Dad of O’Hara.  My Ohara surname is Japanese, but I still enjoy Ireland.  I don’t have this problem when I go to Japan. :-)

    Ohara is a Japanese surname (e. g.: 小原,尾原,大原)

    The Dublin Data Center manager John Dwyer is a friend  I worked before our data center days at Microsoft, and I was thinking he needs a complete coverage blog post.  So here we go.

    Let’s start with John Dwyer’s ex-boss Mike Manos.

    A Well Deserved Congratulations to Microsoft Dublin DC Launch

    September 25, 2009 by mmanos

    Today Microsoft announced the launch of their premier flagship data center facility in Dublin, Ireland.  This is a huge achievement in many ways and from many angles.    While there are those who will try and compare this facility to other ‘Chiller-less’ facilities, I can assure you this facility is unique in so many ways.   But that is a story for others to tell over time.

    I wanted to personally congratulate the teams responsible for delivering this marvel and acknowledge the incredible amount of work in design, engineering, and construction to make this a reality.  To Arne, and the rest of my old team at Microsoft in DCS – Way to go!

    \Mm

    PS – I bet there is much crying and gnashing of teeth as the unofficial Limerick collection will now come to a close.  But here is a final one from me:

    A Data Centre from a charming green field did grow,

    With energy and server lights did it glow

    Through the lifting morning fog,

    An electrical Tir Na Nog,

    To its valiant team – Way to Go!

    DataCenterKnowledge has a post on Microsoft’s Dublin Data Center.

    Gallery: Microsoft’s Dublin Data Center

    September 28th, 2009 : Rich Miller

    The exterior of the new super-efficient Microsoft data center in Dublin, Ireland.

    The exterior of the new energy-efficient Microsoft data center in Dublin, Ireland.

    Microsoft’s new data center in Dublin will power much of the company’s global cloud computing operation, while using far less energy and water than typically consumed in other data centers of this scale. We’ve put together a photo gallery offers a closer look at the design innovations driving its efficiency, including photos of the server room and data center interior and a diagram of the free cooling system. See our photo feature,Inside Microsoft’s Dublin Mega Data Center.

    The official press release for EMEA is here.

    Microsoft Expands Cloud Computing Capabilities & Services in Europe

    Microsoft Expands Cloud Computing Capabilities & Services in Europe

    Microsoft’s new Dublin Data Centre to support demand for online services for business and consumers.

    TextVideosImagesResources

    DUBLIN, Republic of Ireland— September 24, 2009

    Microsoft today announced the opening of its first ‘mega data centre’ in Europe to meet continued growth in demand for its Online, Live and Cloud services. The $500 million total investment is part of Microsoft’s long-term commitment in the region, and is a major step in realising Microsoft’s Software plus Services strategy.

    Green Data Center is mentioned in this press document.

    Case Studies

  • Greening the data centre, the Dublin Data Centre case study In Ireland, Microsoft has built its largest data centre outside the United States, using cutting-edge technology and an innovative approach to energy efficiency as part of an integrated strategy for environment sustainability.
  • image

    Steve Clayton a Microsoft blogger has his post.

    I’ve seen the cloud…it lives in Dublin

    04.MicrosoftDublinDataCentreServerPods[2]

    I’m in sunny Dublin today (yep, it’s sunny here) for the grand opening of Microsoft’s first “mega datacenter” outside of the US. What you may ask is a mega datacenter? Well basically it’s an enormous facility from we’ll deliver our cloud services to customers in Europe and beyond.

    I had the chance to check the place out last month and have a full tour and it’s incredible. Okay there isn’t much to see but that’s sort of the point. It’s this big information factory that is on a scale that you’ll not see in many other places in the world and run with an astonishing level of attention to detail.

    It’s also quite revolutionary and turns out to be our most efficient data center thus far. Efficiency is measured by something called PUE that essentially looks at how much power your use vs the power you consume. The ultimate PUE of course is 1.0 though the industry average is from 2-2.4. Microsoft’s data centers on average run at 1.6 PUE but this facility takes that down to 1.25 through use of some smart technology called “air”. Most datacenters rely on chillers and a lot of water to keep the facility cool – because of the climate in Dublin, we can use fine, fresh, Irish air to do the job which has significant benefits from an environmental point of view. Put simply, it saves 18 million litres of water each month.

    I’ve spent some time today talking to press about this place and I left them with the title line – I’ve seen the cloud and it lives in Dublin.

     

    There are data center images on the Microsoft site..

    Microsoft Dublin Data Centre

    Microsoft Dublin Data Centre Entrance

    Microsoft Dublin Data Centre Entrance

    Embed Image

    Microsoft Dublin Data Centre Aerial

    Microsoft Dublin Data Centre Aerial

    Embed Image

    Air-side economization architectural diagram

    Air-side economization architectural diagram

    Embed Image

    Microsoft Dublin Data Centre Server Pods

    Microsoft Dublin Data Centre Server Pods

    Embed Image

    Microsoft Dublin Data Centre Generator Room

    Microsoft Dublin Data Centre Generator Room

    Embed Image

    Microsoft Dublin Data Centre Rooftop Air Units

    Microsoft Dublin Data Centre Rooftop Air Units

    Embed Image

    News spreads fast and google news has this listing.

    Data Center Knowledge

    Gallery: Microsoft's Dublin Data Center

    Data Center Knowledge - Rich Miller - ‎20 hours ago‎

    Microsoft's new data center in Dublin will power much of the company's global cloud computing operation, while using far less energy and water than ...

    Microsoft Dublin Facility Uses Free Cooling Web Host Industry Review

    Putting the heat on data center cooling costs Cleantech Group

    all 3 news articles »

    RTE.ie

    Microsoft Set to Fire up Dublin Data Center

    PC World - Jeremy Kirk - ‎Sep 23, 2009‎

    Microsoft has opened up for business its new Dublin data center, a massive 550000-square-foot facility dedicated to serving primarily European customers. ...

    Microsoft's Chiller-less Data Center Data Center Knowledge

    Microsoft goes chiller-less in its new data center Consulting-Specifying Engineer

    Microsoft Dublin data centre opens Irish Times

    IRISHDEV.com

    all 45 news articles »

    I am constantly amazed at how others don’t reference a fraction of what I put above on the original sources of information. This post took me less than 1/2 hour to write, and I didn’t have to call anyone as all the information was publicly accessible and could be found through search engines.

    Referencing other sources is a key way to get your blog post up in google search results, and it builds your social network.  Now I can take this post and send it on to John Dwyer, Mike Manos, Steve Clayton and many others.

    Click to read more ...

    Monday
    Sep282009

    Intel says Atom Make It Faster, Faster, Faster

    News.com references Intel executive Sean Maloney.

    Intel to rev up Atom development, executive says

    by Brooke Crothers

    Intel will accelerate development of the Atom processor, according to an executive, marking a different tack than the slow-but-steady strategy to date.

    The Atom chip is used most prominently in Netbooks, and its hallmark has been power efficiency--not speed. But Intel will put more focus on speed, according to Sean Maloney, an Intel executive vice president.

    "We'll spin Atom more frequently. Do more like a tick-tock on Atom. Make it faster, faster, faster," said Maloney in an interview at Intel Developer Forum last week.

    With the growth of netbooks and competition, Intel needs to keep ahead of the performance from the competition.

    Click to read more ...

    Monday
    Sep282009

    What is the Evolution of the Data Center? - Business Networking at Santa Fe Institute, Nov 12 –14, 2009

    NYtimes had an article on Wall Street’s math wizards forgetting a few variables – human behavior.  This article got me thinking the top issues for data center operations have a human factor.

    Wall Street’s Math Wizards Forgot a Few Variables

    Published: September 12, 2009

    IN the aftermath of the great meltdown of 2008, Wall Street’s quants have been cast as the financial engineers of profit-driven innovation run amok. They, after all, invented the exotic securities that proved so troublesome.

    Enlarge This Image

    James Yang

    But the real failure, according to finance experts and economists, was in the quants’ mathematical models of risk that suggested the arcane stuff was safe.

    The risk models proved myopic, they say, because they were too simple-minded. They focused mainly on figures like the expected returns and the default risk of financial instruments. What they didn’t sufficiently take into account was human behavior, specifically the potential for widespread panic. When lots of investors got too scared to buy or sell, markets seized up and the models failed.

    That failure suggests new frontiers for financial engineering and risk management, including trying to model the mechanics of panic and the patterns of human behavior.

    The interesting thing is the same companies that run huge data centers are leaders in this topic.

    Much of the early work has been done tracking online behavior. The Web provides researchers with vast data sets for tracking the spread of all manner of things — news stories, ideas, videos, music, slang and popular fads — through social networks. That research has potential applications in politics, public health, online advertising and Internet commerce. And it is being done by academics and researchers at Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Facebook.

    And, there is a chance some of this is being applied to complex modeling in data centers.

    One of the interesting areas I found was the topic of econophysics.

    J. Doyne Farmer, a former physicist atLos Alamos National Laboratory and a founder of a quantitative trading firm, finds the behavioral research intriguing but awfully ambitious, especially to build into usable models. Instead, Mr. Farmer, a professor at the interdisciplinary Sante Fe Institute, is doing research on models of markets, institutions and their complex interactions, applying a hybrid discipline called econophysics.

    To explain, Mr. Farmer points to the huge buildup of the credit-default-swap market, to a peak of $60 trillion. And in 2006, the average leverage on mortgage securities increased to 16 to 1 (it is now 1.5 to 1). Put the two together, he said, and you have a serious problem.

    “You don’t need a model of human psychology to see that there was a danger of impending disaster,” Mr. Farmer observed. “But economists have failed to make models that accurately model such phenomena and adequately address their couplings.”

    I’ve been sitting on this blog entry for the last week, and thanks to a social networking connection I  am attending Santa Fe Institute’s Business Networking event.

    2009 Annual Business Network and Board of Trustees’ Symposium

    Multi-Dimensions of Evolution

    2009 is the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Darwin. This year SFI has been celebrating this event through a variety of wide-ranging lectures, symposia, and public events on the topic of evolution. The idea has been to explore the many ways in which a Darwinian and Post-Darwinian perspective on life and time have changed our science, society and metaphysics.

    This November we shall continue our celebrations with a series of talks on the multi-dimensions of evolution followed by a concert performance and readings -- extending our inquiries into the world of nineteenth century, romantic exploration, and historical synthesis, spanning science and music.

    Each speaker will address some unique application of evolutionary thought, describing how an evolutionary perspective has transformed our knowledge of the world. Speakers will consider how evolutionary thinking transformed their fields, and how new, post-Darwinian ideas have been evolving and generating further insights.

    Organized by David Krakauer, SFI Chair of Faculty and Professor.

    I am sure I’ll learn some interesting areas where the complexity of data centers can be understood with approaches used similar to the math wizards of finance.

    Click to read more ...

    Sunday
    Sep272009

    Adding Twitter to the blogging process

    I’ve been resistant to Tweet with Twitter given I already write on average two blog entries a day.  But, this week I connected my blog www.greenm3.com to my twitter feed www.twitter.com/greenm3

    Here is what I did.

    1) In Typepad I added my Twitter account

    image

    2) I could now publish my posts to twitter, but it was an extra step to go to TypePad posts to enable a twitter feed.  I use Windows Live Writer to write blog entries, and there is a twitter notify plug-in.

    image

    3) You can check to see if the twitter plug-in installed in the Windows Live Writer edit blog settings.

    image

    4)  When you publish a dialog box comes to confirm the publishing to Twitter.  Here is the dialog from this post.

    image

    Overall easier than I anticipated and it is just one more dialog box now that I have Windows Live Writer configured.

    You can read my tweets at www.twitter.com/greenm3 which are an alternative to subscribing to my RSS feeds.

    Click to read more ...