„CooLMUC-3 is the pilot system for future system cooling concepts of high performance computing.“
Early in May we were visiting Dr. Huber, Head of High Performance Systems Department at Leibniz Supercomputing Centre in Garching. In a short interview we talked about the beginnings of the completely hot water cooled CooLMUC-3 and the wishes and demands that the LRZ places on future supercomputers.
What are your memories concerning the CoolMUC installation in 2010? Could you have imagined that all components from the successor system CooLMUC-3 will be directly water-cooled?
Already in 2010, the LRZ pursued the approach of operating a direct hot water cooled HPC system without additional LRZ cold water cooling or room air cooling. The CoolMUC system supplied by MEGWARE in 2010 has taken this approach, but only by using refrigeration compressors installed in two racks to generate cooling air for the computer racks. Room-neutral HPC systems operated with direct hot water cooling have been the strategic development and procurement target of the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre for about 10 years.
From your perspective: What are the main advantages of the CooLMUC-3 system? May it marks a new HPC generation?
CooLMUC-3 is the world’s first 100% direct hot water cooled HPC system. Either the compute nodes nor the network components require air cooling. The system racks are thermally insulated to reduce the amount of waste heat entering the computer room. The cooling efficiency of the hot water cooling of this system is at least 97% and therefore the HPC system is almost noiseless in operation. Yes, in my opinion, CooLMUC-3 is the pilot system for future system cooling concepts in the area of high performance computing.
Currently the CooLMUC-3 is the only high performance cluster at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre where all components are directly cooled with hot water. Do you see a future for further hot water liquid cooled systems at the LRZ?
Yes, future procurements will demand complete hot water cooling for high performance computer. If manufacturers are not able to supply a completely hot water cooled system they will be automatically excluded from the procurement process.
Please can you give us an insight which kind of scientific experiments will be supported by the CooLMUC-3 cluster system?
Amongst other things, the following scientific issues are currently being addressed with the help of CoolMUC-3:
- Multi-scale monitoring of global water resources and options for their efficient and sustainable use
- Calculation of the performance of turbo diesel engines
- New, innovative concepts for geothermal systems
- Thermodynamics and heat transfer
In the field of high energy efficient HPC systems the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre achieved highest reputation as a leading datacenter worldwide. What are your plans and wishes for the future?
We hope that in the future nearly all HPC system manufacturers will have such solutions in their product catalog, as this will again significantly reduce the costs for direct-water-cooled compute nodes, power supplies and network switches.
Watch the Video of the interview here