University of Leicester makes sources Key HPC transformation

The University of Leicester has appointed Keysource, the datacentre and critical environment specialists, to lead the transformation of its Computer Centre Data Centre located on campus. It follows an increase in the need for high performance computing driven in part by the growth in research initiatives such as DiRAC, ALICE and space exploration projects.

This transformation includes the doubling of capacity and the adoption of a large amount of direct liquid cooling, into an existing air-cooled environment. This is a fundamental shift from a consistent approach to High Performance Cooling (HPC) with air cooled technology to a Direct Liquid Cooled (DLC) solution from HPE (Hewlett Packard Enterprise). It is the first deployment of its kind for a higher education organisation in the UK and Europe.

This collaboration between the University of Leicester, HPE and Keysource utilises DLC technology which is direct liquid to server rather other forms of immersive cooling currently on the market. This involves incorporating the addition of the DLC directly onto the existing chilled water system and working in tandem with the air-cooled systems.

Richard Clifford, Head of Solutions at Keysource, said: “We have worked with the University for over 10 years and have gone on a number of HPC transformational journeys together. This latest project is an exciting first for the sector and UoL will benefit from the fact that liquid cooling is much more effective at removing heat than air cooling. It can also reduce overall power consumption and improve its power usage effectiveness (PUE) resulting in environmental benefits, including Improved power usage, reduced emission and overall less waste.”

Stuart Poulton, Systems Specialist at University of Leicester, said: “We have an excellent working partnership with Keysource. We know that with their experience of design, delivery, and operation that we can rely on their design team to apply real life lessons learnt and deliver on our objectives, whilst critically considering the approach to installation and full life operation. Having the Keysource team onboard as Design Guardians during the commissioning and operation gives us confidence on the success of this critical research project and will deliver the University an industry leading HPC cluster for world leading research.”

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