Feeds

German students get hot 'n' heavy on Coffee Table of Doom

Unassuming sideboard plumbs entire server for liquid cooling

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

HPC blog My first look at the Chemnitz University of Technology's “Coffee Table of Doom” entry into the recently concluded ISC’13 student cluster-building challenge really gave me pause for thought.

Four very large workstations crammed to the brim with 16 accelerators (eight Intel Phi plus eight NVIDIA K20) was something to behold.

Two thoughts came to mind. The first was a simple but eloquent, “Holy s**t, that’s a lot of power!” The second was, “Who the hell helped them get this together?”

The answer to the latter question is MEGWARE, an integrator and manufacturer of HPC systems headquartered in Chemnitz, Germany. The company was quick to embrace their hometown side, supplying them with hardware, training, and plenty of encouragement.

Just an innocent coffee table, nothing to see here

In the video, I spend a few minutes talking with MEGWARE and also getting a look at their take on liquid-cooled servers. We’ve seen a number of liquid-cooling designs that place water blocks on CPUs to remove heat. MEGWARE takes this a few steps further by applying blocks to the motherboard ASICs and to each DIMM (dual in-line memory module) on the board.

Four workstations, 8 Xeons, 8 Phi and 8 K20 accelerators - yikes

It’s a lot of copper, sure, but covering this many components with water blocks should remove more heat than anything short of immersing the whole thing in a barrel of mineral oil. It’s an interesting approach, and worth investigating.

I’d love to see Team Chemnitz armed with a MEGWARE liquid-cooled cluster at a future competition. This would give the team enough cooling capacity to overclock their CPUs and get perhaps as much as 20 per cent more processing power.

They could also fit water blocks to their vast array of accelerators, removing even more heat from the systems. Overall, they’d be able to cut power requirements while ramping up their throughput – definitely a win-win proposition.

These same liquid-cooling benefits can help real data centres get more throughput bang for their energy and floorspace buck. While most data centres are skittish when it comes to cooling their boxes with liquid, the pay-off in terms of increased density and lower energy use can’t be denied.

MEGWARE is working to make the value proposition a bit sweeter by helping customers to find uses for the waste heat coming off their systems. While it isn’t concentrated, this heat can be used to help warm up buildings, pre-heat water, or even keep sidewalks clear of snow and ice during winter months. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster
6TB of DRAM, 38TB of SSD flash and 120TB of disk storage
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
Oracle hires former SAP exec for cloudy push
'We know Larry said cloud was gibberish, and insane, and idiotic, but...'
Symantec backs out of Backup Exec: Plans to can appliance in Jan
Will still provide support to existing customers
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.