CISL computing facilities

From the NCAR Strategic Plan, “High Performance Computing (HPC) is one of the foundational elements of NCAR’s scientific research and publications.” Within CISL, providing capable, flexible, and efficient facilities continues to be the cornerstone of this foundation. NCAR is moving forward with plans for both NWSC and the ML in the coming fiscal year.

During FY2015, a CISL team focused on installation planning for the NWSC’s next HPC system to be installed in FY2016. Early in FY2015, CISL requested that key HPC vendors respond to a brief set of questions designed to obtain power, cooling, and facilities infrastructure requirements for the systems they would propose. The facilities and infrastructure information indicated that the projected power consumption of ~2-4 MW would consume all of the NWSC’s available electrical capacity on the low end and exceed the electrical capacity on the high end of the range. To prepare for systems at the higher end, CISL developed a statement of work and RFP process around the build-out of Computer Room Module A as the best path forward. This process proceeded in parallel with the NWSC-2 procurement as there was considerable schedule risk to procure long-lead components such as the 3-MVA transformer needed to energize Module A. Later, as the proposals came in for the NWSC-2 procurement, CISL determined that all vendor proposals were trending toward the low end of ~2 MW. As a result, CISL re-evaluated and moved forward with simply augmenting Module B.

In a similar fashion, another CISL team has been focused on the retrofit and upgrade of the Mesa Lab Computing Facility (MLCF). This effort has been a partnership with UCAR Facilities Management, Safety, and Sustainability (FMS&S) to first develop a master plan to further develop construction documents and retrofit the MLDC in a phased effort to enhance reliability and greatly improve energy efficiency. The master planning was completed in the summer of FY2015.

NSF Core funds support the NWSC efforts. UCAR indirect funding has supported the work for MLCF efforts.