RIT researchers work to make supercomputing ‘green’

Service Oriented Cyberinfrastructure Lab seeks to reduce energy consumption of key equipment




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Gregor von Laszewski (left) and Lizhe Wang

Researchers at RIT are striving to make supercomputers more energy efficient. Supercomputers, high powered machines that are typically used for extremely calculation-intensive tasks, traditionally expend a great deal of energy—which can be problematic for institutions such as RIT that take pride in their sustainability efforts.

RIT’s Service Oriented Cyberinfrastructure Lab is working to change that. Researchers at the lab, led by Gregor von Laszewski and Lizhe Wang, have constructed a prototype that is currently being tested to determine its effectiveness. The key to reducing energy, Wang says, lies in the supercomputer cooling systems and job scheduling algorithm.

“We realized early on that job management algorithms have significant impact on heat creation and energy consumption,” Wang says. “If our prototype effectively reduces the amount of energy required to cool supercomputers, we can drastically reduce its overall energy consumption.”

Results of the testing are anticipated later this year.
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Gregor von Laszewski (left) and Lizhe Wang