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World's Fastest Supercomputers Inspire World's Most Unusual Cabinet Designs

November 23, 2011

The "K Computer," built by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (in conjunction with Fujitsu Corporation) was recently crowned the fastest supercomputer in the world. It can perform 10 quadrillion calculations per second, utilizes over 88,000 chips and 864 server racks, operates at 93 percent efficiency and carries an estimated electrical cost of $9.89 million annually when running at one petaflop (though it took the title of world's fastest by topping out at over 10 petaflops).

And while numbers like that might make your head spin, we here at Chatsworth Products, Inc. (CPI) have actually been more intrigued by the unique, flashy, offbeat and sometimes less-than-practical cabinet designs used to house these computational juggernauts. Consider the following:

World's fastest supercomputer, the "K" out of JapanSeen above: the world's fastest, the "K Computer," sporting some non-traditional red paneling, close-quartered door access and ventilation, and a slew of orange safety cones and yellow hazard tape just for extra precaution - probably a warning to all those who underestimate its blazing speed!

JUGENE supercomputer out of GermanySeen above: the "JUGENE" supercomputer out of Germany, and just for the record, no, these rows of cabinets have not fallen victim to a dreaded lean to the side - that's merely the off-kilter design employed at the end of each row.

Jaguar supercomputer based in the U.S.Seen above: the sleek-looking supercomputer known as "Jaguar" out of the United States - fairly traditional in terms of infrastructure, though that sweeping mural across the cabinet face does turn heads. Notice the banking, top portions of each cabinet as well - passive cooling, perhaps?

The Bull supercomputer out of France Seen above: the "Bull" supercomputer out of France, with its eye-catching and definitely non-traditional cabinet door design. This is certainly not your typical or preferred method for properly ventilating a cabinet face with perforation, though it does look... different.

Speaking of cabinet perforation, have you read CPI's latest white paper on whether or not a higher percentage of perforation affects airflow when trying to cool your equipment? Get the "hole" truth and download your free copytoday.

As for these supercomputers? It's easy to appreciate the speed, performance, and yes, even the daring designs of the world's fastest. But daring doesn't always do the trick.

Often times, the best customization in a data center, computer room or premise network environment is the kind that enhances your space and maximizes your efficiency. That could be as simple as modifying cable tray to route around pre-existing obstacles or as intricate as using extended Vertical Exhaust Ducts to reach overhead plenum for better hot air isolation. In instances like these, CPI leads the way in working with clients to tackle such challenges, find practical solutions and improve your long-term investment - because when the fastest of the fast have run themselves out of the race, you'll still be cruising! Jeff Cihocki, eContent Specialist

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