Sustainability in HPC Centers

Sustainability in HPC Centers

This project is motivated by the sustainability strategy, the green IT strategy and the HPC strategy of the state of Baden-Württemberg. Its goal is to investigate how principles of sustainability could be applied to the Höchstleistungsrechenzentrum der Universität Stuttgart (HLRS). Due to its special requirements most of the standard green IT concepts for saving energy cannot be applied to HPC centers. Other aspects of sustainability have not been applied to HPC centers yet. Based on these requirements a sustainability concept specifically tailored to HPC centers will be developed.
Derived goals of this project are the reduction of energy consumption and environmentally harmful materials. A CO2 neutral operation of a large data center like HLRS is only a long term goal. Therefore the possibilities of technical and biotic compensation will be evaluated. The fiscal and legal situation of a state university has to be considered.
This concept will be implemented at HLRS. Due to the long innovation cycles in facilities and infrastructure – much longer than in IT - such a concept cannot be implemented to its full extend within the timeframe of this project. Instead, the main focus will be put on an analysis of the current state and the development of suitable targets. Actions to be taken will be prioritized according to the time needed to implement energy savings and cost reductions which are achievable.
Improving sustainability requires the active participation of all staff members. Therefore the Akademie für Natur- und Umweltschutz Baden-Württemberg develops HPC-specific seminars. They are annually offered to all HLRS staff to improve their awareness and educate on all aspects of sustainability.
The possibility of having the results of this project certified according to Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS), ISO 14 001 and ISO 50 001 will be studied.
This project will serve as an example for other HPC centers. Its results will be published in an annual sustainability report.

Project Details

Funding AgencyMinisterium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst Baden-Württemberg
Runtime01.01.2014 - 31.12.2016