“Green” Scandinavian Supercomputer to be Hosted in Iceland

A group of Scandinavian national high performance computing infrastructure organizations have hit upon a unique way to save costs and drive down the environmental impact of supercomputers — locate the hardware in a country with cheaper, cleaner energy. The Nordic High Performance Computing Project (NHPC) is locating a joint HPC cluster in Iceland as part of a pilot project to “understand the organizational and technical challenges of joint procurement, administration and operation of computational infrastructure for science.”

The supercomputer is hosted in the Advania Thor Data Center in Iceland, one of the most energy efficient data centers in the world (it has a zero carbon footprint). The idea is that the Scandinavian countries could leverage the supercomputing capabilities located in Iceland, which generates cheaper energy via environmentally friendly hydro- and geothermal sources.

The Danish Center for Scientific Computing (DCSC), the Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing (SNIC), UNINETT Sigma, and the University of Iceland are involved. They hope the pilot will yield technological dividends for the Nordic countries.

“We need to constantly develop our understanding of advanced computing and how to operate it in increasingly complex ways,” said Ebba Hvannberg, director of the project and of Icelandic Supercomputing, in a press statement.

Rene Belso, director of Danish Supercomputing, agreed, stating: “We must continuously push the total cost of ownership down and increase the value for money. Indeed, we Nordics need to be first movers in all such area, since we only seem to be able make a national business case out of the most complex organization and advanced technology implementations.”

The system (called Gardar) is being delivered by HP, via Opin Kerfi. It is based on a cluster of 288 HP ProLiant BL280c G6 servers with 3456 compute cores, achieving peak performance of 35 TeraFLOPS.

Source: NHPC Project

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