[Beowulf] $1, 279-per-hour, 30, 000-core cluster built on Amazon EC2 cloud

mathog mathog at caltech.edu
Tue Oct 4 14:39:40 PDT 2011

On Tue, 4 Oct 2011 13:43:15 -0700, Lux, Jim (337C) wrote:

> So call it 12c/kWh on peak.  At 400kW, that's $48/hr, which isn't
> bad, operating expenses wise.

Well, yes and no.  If they only turned it on once and a while it 
be too bad, but I'm pretty sure it runs 100% of the time.  At least I 
have never
walked by when the racks were not lit up, so...

   $48 * 24 * 365 = $420480/year

Versus the average lab at (waves hands) $150 in electricity a month = 
It will of course depend on what kind of work the lab does.  The 
difference is two orders of
magnitude.  Anyway, last I looked we had around 300 professors, so that 
one facility
used up, order of magnitude, as much juice as all the "normal" labs 
combined.  (Certainly there
are some other labs around which also use a lot of electricity.)

Cooling water usage was probably also a sore point from the 
administration's perspective.
Pretty much everything here runs AC off chilled water coming from a 
central plant.  Either
that cluster used up a whole lot of chilled water capacity at the 
central plant or they built a
a separate chiller somewhere. Dave Kewley who sometimes posts here used 
to run
that system, so he would know.


David Mathog
mathog at caltech.edu
Manager, Sequence Analysis Facility, Biology Division, Caltech

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