Energy Efficiency Considerations and HPC Procurement
Authors: Natalie Bates (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)
Abstract: The predominant goal for procurement of HPC systems is to identify the optimal solution to both technical and financial targets that maximizes the contribution of that system to the organization’s mission. Beyond the acquisition cost of the system, it is also important to consider the total costs of ownership, including the improvements necessary to host the system, the infrastructure that supports its operation, and the significant operational costs associated with that new HPC system. In this BoF, HPC leaders will discuss and debate key procurement requirements and lessons learned that can contribute to greater energy efficiency and reduced operational costs.
Long Description: Over the past 10 years, operational and infrastructure costs of HPC have become important considerations during system procurement and this trend will only continue as we move towards ever more powerful computers.
Perhaps as few as ten years ago, the operational and infrastructure costs for new HPC systems were largely ignored as part of the procurement phase of an acquisition. As a wide variety of factors drive new HPC systems to become larger, denser, and hotter, their impact on facility infrastructures and operational costs increases and makes integration of these aspect during the procurement of a system. Whilst such considerations are of paramount importance in the procurements for the largest systems that will chase exascale performance targets, the underlying requirements that can lead to greater energy efficiency and important reductions in infrastructure and operational costs for the larger community.
The goals of this BOF are to:
• promote dialogue between leadership supercomputing sites that have made an explicit effort to include consideration of these costs in their procurements,
• capture lessons learned and best practices for the audience and also for publication to a broader audience,
• solicit audience feedback and participation in the discussion.
The Energy Efficient HPC Working Group has published a document on Energy Efficiency Considerations for HPC Procurements. Lessons learned and best practices from this BoF would be captured in an updated version of that document. https://eehpcwg.llnl.gov/pages/compsys_pro.htm
This is a new BoF, inspired by a panel discussion held at SC15. “Procuring Supercomputers: Best Practices and Lessons Learned”, moderated by Bilel Hadri from KAUST. The panel was held on Thursday night with approximately 250 participants, a good turn-out for an event held at the end of the conference. The original scope and time limitations didn’t allow for a discussion of infrastructure and operational costs. This BoF is intended to extend and elucidate important aspects of that panel discussion.
Panelist presentation (5 minutes each):
• What best practices can you recommend including in an HPC system procurement that considers infrastructure and operational costs? Do you have any lessons learned?
Panelist pre-set questions:
• What are the relative weights between capital and operational expenses in HPC procurements today? How is this trending? Do you see a cross-over between capital and operational expenses anytime within the next decade?
• Do you see shifts in technology or environmental factors that will affect infrastructure and operational considerations for procurement within the next 5 years? (e.g., renewables, regulations)
Audience questions: TBD
• Did you find this BoF valuable? What would have made it more valuable?
• Do you think you could contribute to the EE HPC WG in the area of infrastructure and operational cost considerations for HPC procurements?
• Would you be willing to share best practices and or lessons learned in this area?
• Please leave your contact information if you would like further contact with the EE HPC WG.
Conference Presentation: pdf
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