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Upgrade of Beskow

Gert Svensson, PDC

Due to the continued and increased collaboration with Scania , the PDC main system, Beskow (which is a Cray XC-40), has been upgraded with the addition of two further cabinets. The nodes that make up the new cabinets are all equipped with a new version of Intel processor and also have more memory than the CPUs in the original Beskow nodes.

Following the upgrade, Beskow consists of eleven cabinets with a total of 515 blades; this gives an overall total of 2,060 compute nodes, each with dual Intel CPUs. The nine old cabinets have Xeon E5-2698v3 Haswell 2.3 GHz CPUs (16 cores per CPU) and the two new cabinets have Xeon E5-2695v4 Broadwell 2.1 GHz CPUs (18 cores per CPU). This means that Beskow now has 67,456 cores in total.

Overall Beskow’s theoretical peak performance has increased from 1.97 to 2.44 PFLOPS, and its performance in the LINPACK benchmarks has gone from 1.40 to 1.80 PFLOPS. During the LINPACK run, the system consumed an average of 842 kW of power compared to around 720 kW in normal operation.

At the time of writing, the scheduling of jobs on the new system is still undergoing testing. Normal computing jobs can be scheduled on the new nodes, although Scania jobs have priority on the new nodes (and may also be scheduled on the old nodes).

The extended research collaboration with Scania was discussed during the spring of 2017 and an official agreement was formalised on the 26th of June 2017. PDC had already discussed the contract for an extension of Beskow with Cray, so we were able to order the upgrade to the system on the 29th of June. The system was promptly installed starting on the 30th of August. As is usual with Cray systems, this was a well-planned, highly efficient operation. The upgrade was accepted on the 13th of September and user jobs immediately started being run on the upgraded system.

Each compute rack arrives packed in a crate. Here one of the crates is lifted from the delivery truck with a forklift.
The crates are removed before the racks are taken into the computer hall.
It requires several people to move the racks to their final positions.
The racks (in their protective crates) barely fit through the doorway to the entrance area of the PDC computer hall.
Each rack is moved into the computer hall using metal sheets to protect the floor and distribute the weight.
Finally Cray staff and PDC staff work together to connect the new racks as part of the Beskow system.