Host NCAR/UCAR computers at MLCF

The Mesa Lab Computing Facility (MLCF) has been repurposed to house the majority of the enterprise-class IT equipment for NCAR and UCAR. It will therefore continue providing significant value to researchers for many years into the future. At present, the MLCF provides servers and services for NCAR divisions and UCAR programs including ACOM, CGD, CISL, COSMIC, F&A, Globe, HAO, IIS, JOSS, and RAL. To achieve energy and other efficiencies, CISL is consolidating computer rooms across the organization. CISL along with UCAR Facilities Management, Safety, and Sustainability (FMS&S) has a comprehensive plan to refurbish and operate the MLCF as a centralized co-location facility for the growing numbers of smaller-scale systems deployed across NCAR, UCAR, and member universities. CISL expects this effort to require about three years.

The MLCF continues to be a key part of the CISL cyberinfrastructure strategy. Critical data sets and data services are replicated between NWSC and MLCF, providing a robust infrastructure to ensure our stewardship of important data sets. For NCAR more broadly, the MLCF hosts systems for key scientific programs and applications. Finally, the strategy to refurbish MLCF allows UCAR to phase out support for multiple smaller facilities and enhance the energy efficiency of the organization, reduce costs, and maintain responsible environmental stewardship.

CISL and FMS&S completed cost estimation, phasing, construction documents, and specifications for the MLCF in FY2016. CISL and FMS&S are now in the initial proposal phase soliciting proposals from general contractors for phase one construction.

CISL worked with FMS&S to install a modern Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) system that is right-sized for the MLCF. The new UPS system utilizes new Energy Saver System (ESS) technology that improves the facility’s UPS efficiency to 98% (from 85% in the older system), and eliminates nearly all of the electrical losses common with older UPS technology.

Funding for the MLCF is supported by UCAR overhead funding from the UCAR Communications pool.