Powering and Cooling HiPerGator: The UF Data Center

HiPerGator, the University of Florida supercomputer, is housed in the UF Data Center (UFDC). While its power and ranking as the most powerful supercomputer in U.S. higher education is well known, not many people know about the components at the UFDC that help keep HiPerGator online and cooled.

Backup Batteries

HiPerGator and the other computers housed in the UFDC, along with the chilled water pumps and air handlers, are run by high-power batteries. These batteries ensure that the computers get clear power without spikes or brown-outs. There is enough power available in the UFDC to keep all systems operating for about 10 minutes after an external utilities power failure. During those 10 minutes, UFDC diesel generators begin providing continuing power. The diesel generator and the chillers cool their water to 55F to send to the air handlers, which then cool the air that is used to cool the computers.

Air Exchange

To get fresh air throughout the UFDC and avoid sick-building syndrome, 10% of the air inside the data hall is constantly replaced with outside air, which is cleaned by removing particles and living mold and spores.

UF Data Center Generators

The UFDC has two generators. One has a horse-power capacity of 2.25 MW and produces 1 MW of electricity if the utilities’ power becomes unavailable. A second, similar 4 MW diesel produces the remaining 2.2 MW of electricity to provide the full 3.2 MW that the UFDC is rated for.

Transparent Floor Tiles

The HiPerGator room has a raised floor of about three feet. This is because the mostly empty space is needed to allow cold air to be delivered to the front of the computers. The fans inside the computers blow the cold air past the hot CPUs, with the hot air being returned through the ceiling to the air handlers in hallways outside the 5000 sq. ft. HiPerGator room.

Air Handlers

Speaking of the air handlers, they blow hot air past the radiators that have 55F water flowing through them. All 125,000 cubic feet of air in the HiPerGator data hall must be replaced twice every minute to avoid HiPerGator overheating! The ideal temperature for the HiPerGator room? It is 60F.

Even with the cooling requirements for a supercomputer, HiPerGator is ranked high up on the worldwide green-500 computing list, and the UF Data Center is a certified LEED® building. Learn more about HiPerGator here.

Getting Started with HiPerGator

To assist researchers and instructors in getting started with HiPerGator, UFIT produced a series of videos that explain the processes for setting up a HiPerGator account, training and support for UF’s high-performance computing environment, and using HiPerGator in undergraduate courses:

Getting Started with HiPerGator

Teaching with HiPerGator

UFIT also has a video explaining what ResVault is. That system can be used for computing on highly regulated data like export controlled data. HiPerGator is also certified to allow working with PHI if the proper procedure is followed.

Our Research Computing staff look forward to meeting you and enabling your line of inquiry. You’ll find many additional resources on the https://rc.ufl.edu/ website to help you begin your journey in UF’s high-performance computing environment, and staff are available for in-person and online consultations as needed to fit your schedule. Please contact Senior Director Erik Deumens if you have any questions about getting started with HiPerGator and our campus’s research computing ecosystem.

Full-Day NVIDIA Workshops–Summer 2022

UFIT is offering two, full-day NVIDIA workshops this summer.  Registration for the Deep Learning Institute (DLI) offerings is open to faculty and to staff who support research computing applications. Anyone with questions prior to registering may contact AI Support Team Lead Ying Zhang, yingz@ufl.edu.

NVIDIA DLI: Building Transformer-Based Natural Language Processing Applications
This is an online workshop, held via Zoom.
DATE: June 21, 2022
TIME: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
INFORMATION: https://rc.ufl.edu/calendar/#!view/event/date/20220621/event_id/24401

NVIDIA DLI: Fundamentals of Deep Learning
This is an in-person workshop, held at the UF Informatics Institute (432 Newell Drive).
DATE: July 28, 2022
TIME: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
INFORMATION: https://www.rc.ufl.edu/calendar/#!view/event/date/20220728/event_id/24328

Participants receive an NVIDIA DLI certificate to recognize their subject matter competency after the successful completion of the post-workshop assessment. UFIT offers year-round training opportunities to support research inquiry. Visit the calendar of training and events for other learning opportunities.

State Faculty Presenting at Spring HiPerGator Symposium

Registration is now open for the Spring 2022 HiPerGator Symposium. The symposium will be held virtually (hosted on Zoom) and showcase the research in artificial intelligence being conducted by faculty and students from the University of Florida and researchers utilizing HiPerGator from institutions in the Sunshine State Education & Research Computing Alliance (SSERCA).

The date and time for the symposium is Thursday, Mar. 24, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. There will be more than a dozen presenters, including:

Jayantha Obeysekera, Florida International University [“Understanding, Prediction, and Modeling of Flooding due to Sea Level Variability in Coastal Regions Using Data Mining and AI Methods”]
Sudeep Sarkar, University of South Florida [“Scaling Up Computer Vision Algorithms for Image and Event Recognition”]

The full list of presenters will be available on the spring symposium webpage. Students, faculty, and staff of Florida institutions, as well as Southeastern Conference universities and national constituents, may register to attend. Registrants will receive the Zoom link and sign-in information prior to the symposium. Questions about the Spring 2022 HiPerGator Symposium may be emailed to Dr. Erik Deumens, director, UFIT Research Computing.

Proposal Support Available for Researchers

UFIT is committed to doing everything possible to enable the research community. In addition to providing high performance computing consulting, our staff can help make your sponsored funding proposals more competitive with letters and templates related to the computing and infrastructure needs of your project. There are four components that UFIT’s Research Computing staff can assist with:

1. The budget form showing the cost of computing services or hardware acquisition.
2. Some funding agencies require a commitment letter from Research Computing. We will be happy to write a letter for your specific project.
3. A description of the facilities in support of your project is available to include in the proposal’s facilities section.
4. An explicit data management plan (DMP) is required by most funding agencies, including the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. Research Computing staff are happy to assist you in developing a DMP and its associated budget.

The Research Computing website also has examples of justification text for Hardware Acquisition and Consulting Services. All of the templates and sample text mentioned above are available on https://www.rc.ufl.edu/research/proposal-support/. Please contact Research Computing Director Erik Deumens if you need assistance with your proposal’s computing infrastructure documentation.