by Adam Armstrong

Lenovo Unveils Efficient Water-Cooled ThinkSystem SD650 For HPC

Lenovo announce that its new ThinkSystem SD650 server with warm water cooling has been shown to improve efficiency, performance, and cost savings for a customer. The ThinkSystem SD650 server along with the NeXtScale n1200 Direct Water Cooling enclosure are ideal for High-Performance Computing (HPC) where cooling and power consumption are areas that need close attention. The SD650 server and its water cooling are the result of several years of working with Leibniz Supercomputing Center (LRZ) in Germany.

What was once the fringe is now becoming more and more mainstream when it comes to HPC. While HPC still centers around solving some of the greatest problems and mysteries humans face, it has become more accessible to other large, albeit not necessarily as grand, issues. Getting the benefits of HPC into more hands is a good thing; the power consumption and cooling issues that come with this level of performance need to be addressed on a broader scale.

In 2012 LRZ approached Lenovo to develop a system that was not only powerful, but energy efficient as well. Working with Intel, Lenovo developed a water-cooled motherboard that was piped over other major components cooling the system. The hot water this produced was then used by LRZ to heat their building. The water-cooling used is a warm water, water-cooling taking out the additional step and cost of cooling the water first.

Costs savings is the first thing that jumps out with the above system. The SD650 can save up to 4-5 MW or 100K Euro a year in LRZ’s case. But that isn’t the only benefit or the main benefit. Performance of processing power is getting better but at heat and power consumption costs. Using the SD650, users will be able to run their processors in “turbo” mode continuously, which in turn will grant higher performance and faster time to value. More efficient HPC deployments will lower barriers to adoption, especially in regions such as Europe where energy efficiency is one of the main metrics for adoption. However, deploying cost and power efficient HPC solutions that can perform better will be enticing to anyone interested.

LRZ now has older generations of Lenovo servers with warm water-cooling totaling 6.8 Petaflops. Currently the company is installing 6,500 Lenovo SD650 servers with a compute capacity of roughly 26.7 Petaflops.

Lenovo SD650 key specifications:

  • Form Factor: Full-wide 1U tray (six per n1200 Enclosure)
  • Chassis: NeXtScale n1200 Enclosure (6U)
  • CPU: 2x Intel Xeon Scalable Processors per node; 2x nodes per 1U tray
  • Memory: Up to 768GB using 12x 2667MHz TruDDR4 DIMMs per node
  • I/O Expansion: 1x 50mm width ML2 slot and 1x PCIe x16 slot for EDR InfiniBand or Intel Omni Path, per server node
  • Internal Storage: Up to 2x 2.5” SATA SSDs (7mm height) or 1x 2.5” NVMe SSDs (15mm height) per node; optional M.2 SSD Hardware RAID adapter, supporting M.2 drives
  • RAID Support: Onboard SATA controller with Software RAID; optional Dual M.2 SSD adapter with Hardware RAID 1
  • Network Interface: 1x 1GbE BaseT NIC per node; additional high-speed network adapters (InfiniBand or Omni Path) can be installed in available front-accessible PCIe x16 adapter slot
  • Power Management: Rack-level power capping and management via Extreme Cloud Administration Toolkit (xCAT)
  • Systems Management: Remote management using Lenovo XClarity Controller; 1Gb dedicated management NIC plus 1Gb shared management NIC per node
  • OS Support: Red Hat, SUSE, CentOS (with LeSI support)
  • Limited Warranty: 3-year

Lenovo ThinkSystem SD650 server

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