UCLA has long been associated with advances in high performance supercomputing, but UCLA’s iconic Royce Hall is certainly better known as one of the original buildings in the main UCLA “quad” and home to many memorable performances, not to mention a few very large and popular undergrad classes. But just as increases in enrollment over the years have required many new academic buildings to be built on campus, so to has the growth of scientific research on campus caused the need for new, more efficient data center space to house high performance computing research clusters. UCLA, like many HP customers, recently decided rather than building a new data center it made more sense to install an HP Performance Optimized Data Center (POD), which recently was delivered to a small utility parking area behind Royce Hall.
UCLA will be using the POD to house high performance computing systems from, you guessed it, HP, which will be used by students and faculty across a wide range of projects. Unlike many university data centers that might have been designed decades ago, HP PODs are designed to handle the high density power and cooling requirements of modern high performance computing systems like the HP Proliant SL390. With integrated support for the latest Nvidia M2070 GPGPUs, Mellanox 10G/IB networking, the latest Intel Westmere processors including the fastest 130 watt parts, and SSD/Flash options ranging from standard SSD to Fusion-IO, there is no better industry standard HPC server on the market than the SL390.
So next time you are visiting Royce Hall for a class, a concert, or just to enjoy the beautiful campus architecture, be sure to walk around back and see the latest in HPC architecture, the HPC POD filled with HP high performance computing gear.
** Full disclaimer, the author is a UCLA graduate and works for HP, his views may be appropriately biased.