Fly the flag for greentechnology over your datacenter


By Lee Carter | September 07, 2015 | HPC, Energy saving



There are many reasons people invest in technology, but often it boils down to a single motivation – saving. Sometimes they’re trying to save money, for example, by reducing downtime for critical business systems. They may also be trying to save time by helping employees get their work done more efficiently. Our customers tell us, the reason they choose Bright Cluster Manager is usually a combination of the two. Bright software was designed with savings in mind, providing sophisticated monitoring and health-checking to facilitate automation that saves our customers both time, and money.

However there’s a new requirement in town – saving energy!  We’re seeing a growing trend where our customers need to increase peak compute power, while at the same time keeping energy consumption in check. Bright Cluster Manager can help with an energy-saving feature that automatically powers down unused nodes and system components. Let’s take a look at a couple of companies who chose Bright to help them meet their energy efficiency goals:

Reducing power usage

In the early part of 2015, an American genetic and biological analysis company chose Bright’s high performance infrastructure management solution for three reasons:  

  1. It wanted to deliver centralized cluster management
  2. It wanted to lower costs associated with AWS
  3. It wanted to reduce power usage 

By selecting Bright technology, the company is now able to dynamically start jobs on AWS with the ability to turn local machines on / off when not in use. The resulting power savings helped to offset the cost of purchase Bright licenses, providing a very quick return on investment. The elimination of manual process, such as starting up nodes to run jobs, has increased time to resolution, improved business processes and promoted operational efficiency.

Embracing energy efficiencies

In December 2014, we announced that a consortium of Austrian universities had selected Bright Cluster Manager to configure, install, monitor, and manage its Vienna Scientific Cluster (VSC-3). The Austrian supercomputer is known for its power efficiency – cooling the servers in a bath of mineral oil.

We worked with the consortium and their system integrator to install and configure the 2,000 node cluster using Bright Cluster Manager, which automated the configuration and installation process to provide a user friendly, graphical interface for systems operators to monitor the entire cluster.

The VSC-3 cluster has twice as much computational power as its predecessor, VSC-2, and fulfills the need for very high performance computing, combined with very low energy consumption.

Incorporating advanced cooling technologies

I’ve spoken before about how proud we are to have the largest supercomputer on the planet dedicated to Life Science research managed by Bright. We announced the project at the Center for Biological Sequence Analysis in Denmark, in January 2015. This is also a system where energy efficiency is important. I’m pleased to say that in recent weeks we integrated a third party liquid cooling vendor into Bright’s framework, to monitor the cooling technology in the Bright GUI. There are two proven benefits of liquid cooling; firstly it lowers the energy consumed for cooling, and secondly it provides the opportunity to reuse any waste heat from the servers, to heat buildings for example. With a Bright integration, the CBS team can monitor the cooling system and set up automated actions to prevent system damage and ensure high availability of this critical resource should any issues be detected.    


Whether your motivation to reduce energy consumption comes from a commitment to the planet or a commitment to the bottom line, Bright can help you achieve your goals. Contact us to find out more.