AFCOM So Cal Chapter Meeting at the San Diego Supercomputer Center at UC San Diego

Last week, the Southern California Chapter of AFCOM held its Q1 meeting in La Jolla at the San Diego Supercomputer Center at UC San Diego.  Despite the Coronavirus scare, the turnout was great as attendees listened to presentations by Chris Jones of Dell and Greg Stover of Vertiv.  Upon completion of the presentations, attendees were invited to tour the facility.

During his presentation, Chris Jones discussed the proliferation of High-Performance Computing (HPC), Dell’s role in HPC and how it’s becoming more and more mainstream.  According to his presentation, AI applications are driving this growth, and by 2025 we should expect to see 175 zettabytes of data created.  Additionally, by 2030, we should see $13 Trillion in global economic activity driven by AI.  Chris went on to discuss some of the challenges of power and cooling and how the standard compute architectures are not keeping pace. One of the solutions that was discussed is liquid cooling which has seen an increase in adoption over the last few years.  Some of the benefits include higher density racks, lower operating costs and PUE and a reduction in capital expenditures for new Data Center builds.

After Chris, attendees were treated to a discussion on trends and drivers of HPC and Edge Computing from Data Center industry veteran, Greg Stover.  At the outset of his discussion, Greg took attendees down memory lane looking back at the Data Center Efficiency Summit in 2010, how the game has changed and the immediate need for more than 20kW per rack.   Greg went on to discuss Vertiv’s role in the Data Center ecosystem and some of the products available to ensure proper power and cooling with high density applications.

Key Takeaways:  

  • 73% report testing, actively evaluating or using AI in production
  • 20-30kW Racks are showing up everywhere
  • Rack Densities are rising rapidly!
  • 30-54kW Racks are becoming much more common
  • Vertiv’s Hot-Aisle Chambers & Row Coolers can accommodate up to 34kW
  • Vertiv’s Rear Door Heat Exchangers (RDHx) can accommodate 25-54kW Racks

From last week’s discussion, it’s clear that the Data Center is evolving once again, and there will continue to be a need for innovative approaches toward space power and cooling.