Uninterruptable Power Supply for High-Performance Computing Facility

Tue, 25 Apr 2017 -0600

The CU Boulder Research Computing group is pleased to announce the upcoming installation of an Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) for the High Performance Computing Facility (HPCF).  When the UPS (or "battery backup") is in full operation later this summer, it will be able to provide protection against electrical power outages and low-voltage events for all IT equipment in the HPCF, including the Summit supercomputer and its associated network infrastructure.  It will also cover the most critical components of the HPCF's HVAC system, such as building controls and water pump drivers.

At present, most of Summit is directly connected to utility power. Any interruption to this incoming power causes compute nodes to shut down or malfunction, leading to compute job failures.  In addition, the building control systems and HVAC system are also currently susceptible to disruption from power anomalies.

Installing the new UPS system will require several complete electrical shutdowns of the HPCF in July and August.  RC is working with the electrical contractor to minimize the number and duration of these interruptions.  We will announce the downtime dates as soon as the construction schedule is finalized.

The UPS system is manufactured by Schneider Electric, has a capacity of 750 kVA, and uses modern Li-Ion battery technology to minimize consumption of both floor space and power.  It is capable of 99% power efficiency when running in its most efficient mode.  It is designed to provide at least 10 minutes of runtime for Summit during a complete utility power outage.