Many businesses are facing a growing need to complete data-intensive research and simulations to support innovation. However, companies in the technical enterprise range rarely have the funds needed to invest in a high-end HPC data center, supercomputer and storage solution. Enter the new Cray XC30-AC™ supercomputer. Through a combination of integrated high-performance computing architecture and an efficient air-cooling system, the new branch of the Cray XC30™ product line can provide between 20 TF and 200 TF of performance at a price point ranging from $500 thousand to $3 million.
A close look at the XC30-AC
On the inside, the Cray XC30-AC supercomputer is not all that different from our liquid-cooled Cray XC30 system. The AC-version leverages the same HPC integration foundation, compute blade, processors, accelerators, daughter cards, coprocessors and network systems as the already-popular liquid-cooled Cray XC30 system. The difference between the systems comes from a couple sources – how they are cooled, powered and how they are packaged.
The liquid-cooled Cray XC30 supercomputer uses a horizontal blade setup to and a transverse blower cabinet configuration to send air through the HPC system while liquid coil panels provide cooling in each compute cabinet. Alternatively, the Cray XC30-AC system utilizes a highly efficient bottom-top fan architecture that we validated in the successful XE/XK generation of Cray supercomputers. The Cray XC30-AC system is also unique in that it is deployed in smaller cabinets that are racked vertically and not as densely packed as its liquid-cooled counterpart. The Cray XC30-AC supercomputer offers both 208V and 480V power options and can be built in configurations ranging from one to eight cabinets.
Usage models for the Cray XC30-AC
Industries like, energy, finance, engineering and manufacturing are increasingly dependent on advanced simulations to support research efforts. High-performance computing solutions are integral in these settings, but many organizations in the technical enterprise market space cannot afford to implement the capability supercomputing systems needed to support such functions. Furthermore, many supercomputers use large quantities of power and require specialized data center architectures to support them. The Cray XC30-AC system provides integration, scalability and adaptive programming capabilities that make the system an ideal fit for companies that want to run advanced simulations, but on more frugal budgets than those needed to support a traditional top-end HPC solution.
Cray and technical enterprise
The Cray XC30-AC supercomputer is not our first foray into the technical enterprise. As one of the world’s leaders in supercomputing, we have had success with previous generations of technical enterprise offerings, and see increasing demand from users and influencers – engineers, scientists, researchers and business executives. The Cray XC30-AC system is, to a great extent, a result of that knowledge and experience. Cray does not just value the major labs. Instead, we understand the importance that HPC solutions can play in the technical enterprise space and have developed a solution to meet those unique requirements.
Jay Gould, HPCS Product Marketing Manager