SC19 Proceedings

The International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis

Energy Efficiency Considerations for HPC Procurements

Authors: Gert Svensson (KTH Royal Institute of Technology, PDC Center for High Performance Computing), Jason Hick (Los Alamos National Laboratory), James Laros (Sandia National Laboratories), Carlo Cavazzoni (CINECA), William Thigpen (NASA), Ryousei Takano (National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)), Herbert Huber (Leibniz Supercomputing Centre), Steven Martin (Cray Inc)

Abstract: The goal when procuring HPC systems is to identify optimal solutions to technical and financial targets. In this BoF, we present some energy efficiency highlights from recent procurements from all over the world which have been analyzed and documented. One of the pre-exaflop sites from Europe will describe their plans to take energy-efficiency into account in an upcoming procurement, a presentation from the United States addresses special considerations related to procuring an energy-efficient container-based system, and a presentation from Japan discusses the procurement of a system with heavy energy-use instrumentation for data analytics. Interaction with the presenters is highly encouraged.

Long Description: Energy efficiency is an important concern in HPC system procurements worldwide (due to the huge power demands and consequently high running and installation costs of such systems) and interest in the topic of making HPC systems more energy efficient is growing. One of the main goals of the Energy Efficient HPC Working Group (EE HPC WG) - - is to address this topic via its members from HPC sites from around the world, covering the government, education, and industrial sectors. The Working Group includes an Energy Efficient Procurement Considerations Team which has been analyzing information about major HPC procurement processes from around the world to extract energy- efficiency-related requirements. This team aims to share the substantive findings resulting from their ongoing work with the entire HPC community to benefit HPC centers that wish to procure more energy-efficient systems.

Over the last year, the Procurement Considerations Team collected documents relating to 11 recent procurement processes undertaken in the United States, Europe, and Japan. The procurement documents were reviewed and analyzed in terms of best practices relating to procuring energy-efficient systems. During this year’s Energy Efficiency Considerations for HPC Procurements BOF at SC19, the team will share their findings by presenting an updated version of the generally available “EE HPC WG Energy Efficiency Considerations for HPC Procurements” document

Details of three new procurements with interesting approaches to energy efficiency will also be showcased. The Cineca consortium from Italy will present their approach to power efficiency in an upcoming procurement for one of three European pre-exaflop systems. The NASA Ames Research Center will present their experiences with placing a major HPC system in containers to achieve extreme energy efficiency and how that affected the procurement process. The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) from Japan will give an overview of their procurement, and then the operation, of the AI Bridging Cloud Infrastructure (ABCI) system, which includes major instrumentation for recording energy usage for data analytics. Ample time will be reserved for discussions with the speakers and amongst the attendees. The conclusions from these discussions, including any new considerations concerning energy efficiency that arise and are identified as being of interest to the broader HPC community, will be incorporated in an updated version of the HPC Procurements document mentioned above.

This BOF is a continuation of an earlier initiative which started during SC13 at the EE HPC WG Annual Workshop with the initial formulation and documentation of energy efficiency considerations for HPC procurements. The topic was discussed again at the SC14 EE HPC WG Annual Workshop and then during BOFs at SC16, SC17 and SC18. Participation in these BOF sessions has been consistently strong with 50-75 participants at each of them. This year we invite anyone who is involved in HPC and interested in energy efficiency to attend to learn about procuring energy-efficient HPC systems and, in particular, to be informed about state-of-the-art practices from three sites currently taking different approaches to energy efficiency.


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