# Watching hurricanes

America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) put the cart before the horse to some degree when purchasing a new supercomputer to track hurricanes. As it was packed to the rafters in its existing data centers, NOAA built a new center to house this new 383 TF (teraflops) box. However, it didn't know exactly …

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#### what are today's standards?

33 watts per rack, had trouble trying to extrapolate what that actually meant..

- 33 watts per rack unit ? (too low)

- 3300 watts per rack ? (too low)

- 33,000 watts per rack ? (seems too high)

What standards is this facility being measured against? What are today's standards? For me in the colo world I would consider 5kW/rack to be standard. with 10kW+ being good, and 15kW+ being amazing. I would be surprised if this new facility was less than 10kW/rack if they are using SGI gear since that stuff is usually pretty dense.

Why slag off the ten mins cooling?

With a good system that should be enough to save all data to re-boot where it left off.

I wish my PC did the same.

F*****g blue screens.

#### I screwed up! 33 KW

Hi, I messed up on the article - it's 33KW per rack, not 33 watts. And 33 KW is pretty aggressive, I don't know if they'll actually hit that with this system. I think that it's more of a 'let's plan for the future' kind of move.

Sorry for the confusion....Dan Olds

#### Cooling tank

So "at full load" they are drawing 6MW of power. Somebody who can work in those non-Metric / non-ElReg units can possibly figure out how long it takes to boil 25,000 gallons of water when you dump 6MW of heat into it.

Delta T = boiling point - 55 deg

Delta E = Delta T * thermal capacity of water * 25000 gallons

Delta t = Delta E / 6MW

I don't even know how big a gallon it since last time I checked there were at least three different ones.

#### US gallon

It'll be a US gallon which is (IIRC) approximately 3.8 litres, so you'll be heating roughly 95,000 litres of water by 88C.

That appears to require roughly 35GJ of energy, so assuming perfect(ish) energy transfer it'll take 5800 seconds or so to boil the water - an hour and a half give or take a few minutes.

I've probably missed a zero somewhere - or added one :)

#### Except that you don't got all the way

to boiling water before the cooling units fail. Get much above 95 degrees ambient these days and things start to fail in the data center. By 110 degrees you better be shut down. Boiling is still another 112 degrees away.

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