IT Center Blog

EE-HPC – Open Source Solution Approaches for Monitoring and System Settings

September 13th, 2023 | by

Source: EE HPC

High-performance computing (HPC) is now one of the fundamental research methods in many scientific disciplines, for example in climate modeling, astrophysics and biology. In Germany, all computing centers consume about 3% of the national electricity. Therefore, even small energy savings in data centers lead to relevant CO2 savings.

Due to this, the funding guideline of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research “GreenHPC” pursues the goal of strengthening the innovative power in Germany as a business location by improving the energy efficiency in high-performance computing in research and also in commercial data centers.

The EE-HPC project is testing an approach to improve the energy efficiency of HPC systems through automatic, job-specific regulation of system parameters and settings.


What Is the Project About?

HPC clusters, while powerful in their computational capabilities, often consume substantial amounts of energy, leading to increased operational costs and environmental impact. Recognizing this issue, the project focuses on developing innovative solutions to optimize energy usage in HPC clusters.

At the heart of this endeavour lies the Cluster Cockpit toolset, a cutting-edge software solution designed to provide real-time monitoring and management capabilities. With this toolset, administrators and users gain valuable insights into power consumption and utilization within the HPC environment. Armed with this information, targeted optimizations can be implemented to reduce energy consumption while maintaining optimal performance.


Who Works Together?

The EE-HPC project is a collaborative endeavour between two prominent institutions: the German Climate Computing Center (DKRZ) and the High-Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS).

By leveraging the expertise of the other project partners such as Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), and the IT Center of RWTH Aachen, the EE-HPC project is at the forefront of advancing the improvement of HPC data center energy performance. Through the development and implementation of the Cluster Cockpit toolset, the project seeks to make significant strides in reducing energy consumption, lowering costs, and minimizing the environmental footprint of HPC clusters. As a result of pooling their expertise and resources, these institutions are driving forward ground-breaking advancements in the field of energy-efficient computing.


What Does the IT Center Do in the Project?

The IT Center of RWTH Aachen University together with HLRS are developing a library that will enable fine-grained energy optimization for MPI and OpenMP application

Moreover, the IT Center actively contributes to the development of sustainable computing practices by integrating energy-saving measures into its operations. By implementing intelligent power management techniques, utilizing energy-efficient hardware, and adopting environmentally friendly practices, the IT Center serves as a role model for sustainability within the EE-HPC project.

The collaborative efforts of all the project partners are spearheading a new era of sustainable computing. By prioritizing energy efficiency without compromising performance, this project holds immense promise for advancing scientific research, enabling large-scale simulations, and addressing complex computational challenges in a more environmentally conscious manner. Through their dedicated contributions, the IT Center and its partners are driving the transformation towards a greener future for high-performance computing.

Current status updates are available on the project website.

Responsible for the content of this article is Malak Mostafa, Radita Liem and Janin Vreydal.

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