Projected PUE 1.18 for NCSA Blue Water Data Center

I blogged yesterday on the Univ of Illinois NCSA Blue Waters super computer.

Univ of Illinois NCSA facility drops UPS for energy efficiency and cost savings, bldg cost $3 mil per mW

Below is a lot of different parts in what Univ of Illinois’s NCSA facility is building to host the IBM Blue Waters Super Computer.  I’ve seen lots of people talk about energy efficiency and cost savings.  But, the things that got my attention is the fact is this facility dropped the UPS feature and it is built for $3mil per mW for a 24 mW facility.

The one thing I was looking for and couldn’t find was what the PUE would be for the data center.  Thanks to Google Alerts a person from the NCSA contacted me and I asked for the PUE of the facility.  They sent me this article that mentions PUE.   The answer is 1.18

With PCF and Blue Waters, we will achieve a PUE in the neighborhood of about 1.18.

The article is an interview with IBM Fellow Ed Seminaro, chief architect for Power HPC servers at IBM.  There are actually some excellent points that Ed makes.

Q: What are the common mistakes people make when building a data center?

A: One of the most common mistakes I see is designing the data center to be a little too flexible. It is easy to convince yourself that, when you build a building, you really want to build it to accommodate any type of equipment, but this is at the cost of power efficiency.

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, the building cost is $3mil per mW, much lower than a typical data center.

Another is cost of building construction. Some people spend enormous sums, but really, it gets back to can you design the IT equipment so that it doesn't require too much special capability. And what that really means is that you don't have to build a very special facility, you just have to be able to build the general power and cooling capabilities you need and a good sturdy raised floor. This can save a phenomenal amount of money.