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Installation at PDC

Beskow comes to live (and to life) at PDC

In October 2014 PDC is taking delivery of the most powerful supercomputer to date for academic research in the Nordic countries. The system is a Cray XC40 named Beskow after the well-known Swedish children's author and illustrator, Elsa Beskow. The new system has a peak performance close to two petaflops, making it over six times faster than PDC’s previous flagship system, Lindgren. After the installation of the system in October (which you can see documented in photos below), there will be a period of preliminary testing, with public access for research purposes expected to be available from the 5th of January 2015. Selected user groups will be invited to test the system earlier, most likely starting towards the middle of November 2014.

Arrival and installation of Beskow
21 October

15:00 Cray personnel arrive onsite at PDC - checking computer hall is ready for Beskow to arrive the next day

Cray personnel arrive

22 October - Work begins on delivering the parts for Beskow

07:56 Delivery trucks arrive

Trucks arrive

First crate is unloaded

Unloading trucks 3

First crate is taken into the PDC delivery area

Beskow first crate taken into PDC

Opening the first crate

Opening the first crate

La voila! First cabinet unwrapped

First rack unwrapped

Uh oh.. did anyone check if it fits through the door?

Getting rack through door

Taking first cabinet from delivery area into the computer hall

First cabinet ready to be moved into its final position

First rack ready to go into position

First cabinet in place in the PDC computer hall

First frame in place

Blower cabinet being moved into place

Next frame being moved into place

Beskow has pairs of compute cabinets with blower cabinets in between. There are so many that there need to be two rows.

Second row starts to take shape...

Next row starts to take shape

...under the windows

Both racks

Another cabinet on the way in

Another frame heads for the delivery area

The joy of stairs


Blower cabinet being installed

Blower cabinet

Moving another cabinet into place

Starting on cables

They say Rome wasn't built in a day, but look how quickly things progressed...
13: 23 All cabinets for both rows of Beskow are in place in the PDC computer hall

All frames in place

23 October - Getting connected

09:25 Power cables being connected

Power cables being attached to cabinets

Gordian knot? No worries!


The large cables are for connecting nodes in two adjacent cabinets and the smaller ones are optical cables connecting cabinets over a longer distance.

14:05 Attaching doors to cabinets

Attaching doors


14:14 Front row with all doors on

Front row with doors

16:08 Hoses for cooling are connected to the system

Cooling is connected

16:31 Power is connected to the system

Power connected to the system

24 October - Power on!

09:15 Power on!

System is turned on

11:40 Running memory test

Control cabinet

The cabinet here is a separate cabinet that controls both Beskow and Milner (another Cray system which is dedicated for neuroinformatics research).

The uninterruptable power supply (UPS) display shows that the power is around 700 kW (shared over two UPSs).

3 November - Acceptance tests started