Case Study

Expanse Cluster

Focusing on the future of research, San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) launched its newest National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded supercomputer, Expanse. At over twice the performance of SDSC’s Comet system and a peak theoretical performance of 5 PFLOP’s (CPU and GPU combined), Expanse supports SDSC’s vision of ‘Computing without Boundaries’ by increasing the capacity and performance for thousands of users of batch-oriented and science gateway computing. This system also provides new capabilities that will enable research increasingly dependent upon heterogeneous and distributed resources composed into integrated and highly usable cyberinfrastructure. Direct Liquid Cooled Dell CPU servers would be the obvious choice for providing high-performance computing without the limitations of air cooling. This would also enable Expanse to use high-powered air-cooled GPU servers, and evenly distribute them in each rack.

  • Part of the NSF’s Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE)
  • Expanse liquid cooling technology:
    • 14x racks with direct liquid cooling Dell EMC PowerEdge C6525 servers with factory-installed Passive Coldplate Loops
    • 14x Stainless steel Rack Manifolds, featuring 100% dry-break quick disconnect technology
    • 2x row-based CDUs (fully redundant) managing 14x racks together
    • Custom secondary fluid network below the racks
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