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Does the Greenest Supercomputer on the Planet Need CPI Cable Management?

July 13, 2010

Super Computer in Tokyo

The photo is enough to capture your attention, but the explanation is just as interesting. A colleague came across this article by Kyle VanHemert on Gizmodo.com and figured that other CPI employees would find it as intriguing as he did. And he was right. My first thought was that this setup definitely needs some of our cable management products and a few CPI racks couldn’t hurt either!

Then I read the article and was amazed that this conglomeration of equipment and wires achieves 200 gigaflops using only a lightbulb’s worth of power. I’m not even sure how much a gigaflop is, but it sounds impressive.

According to the article, this is the Grape-DR, a supercomputer housed in the Department of Information Science at the University of Tokyo. It topped the Little Green500 List of energy-efficient supercomputers, achieving 815.43 MFLOPS per Watt compared to IBM's second place machine, located in Germany, capable of 773.38 MFLOPS per Watt.

Now back to the cable management or more correctly the lack of cable management. The article spawned some interesting comments from Gizmodo subscribers …

“Does it somehow save energy by being a rat's nest? That's one of the worst racking jobs I've seen."

“All of you people out there who find it necessary to make negative comments about the cables and wires obviously have never been in or actually worked inside a real data center before.”

“Just think of having to trace a cable through that mess if there is a loose connection somewhere. Proper cabling isn't just to look pretty; it is to make the systems more efficient to troubleshoot”

What do you think? Use our comments feature to sound off. Or if you have photos of some interesting cable management jobs, whether good or bad, send them to me, along with a brief description.

You can read the entire article and comments at http://gizmodo.com/5585241/the-greenest-supercomputer-on-the-planet. Kim Ream, Sr. eCommerce Specialist

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