[Beowulf] urgent: cost of fire suppression?

Stu Midgley sdm900 at gmail.com
Fri Apr 22 09:53:47 PDT 2016

A rack of our equipment weighs about 2tonnes and runs at about 35kW.
That's pretty much a car... and they last about 5 years... so it is very
comparable to your 1996 gasoline car.

On Fri, Apr 22, 2016 at 10:29 AM, Mark Hahn <hahn at mcmaster.ca> wrote:

> in stark contrast to the environmentally friendly-ness of super computers
>> and clusters...
> I assume this was sarcasm, but then I was trying to think about what, in a
> datacenter, is particularly "dirty".  sheetmetal and wire
> are not inherently clean industries, but they're also well-established
> and well-regulated, which means that the destruction-per-unit is low.
> (steel for cases is presumably part-scrap like most sheetmetal;
> I imagine the recycle rate for copper is pretty high too.  perhaps even
> for Al (disk drives).)  there's a fair amount of plastic, to be sure,
> but again: since your cables will be used for 5-7 years, they're not in
> the same universe of dirtiness as consumer junk.  PC boards are glass
> fiber and polymer, not that easy to dispose of, but not evil (like the
> encapsulating plastic in chips).  silicon devices are pretty green as well,
> since although a big plant has a big footprint, that's amortized over
> billions of units.
> power seems the most reasonable environmental complaint,
> but our systems are certainly not wasteful of that, since it's the easiest
> thing to tweak.  it's also a pretty linear
> function of demand, and it's also improving drastically
> (unlike the env footprint of copper or steel or plastic.)
> phew, glad I got that off my chest ;)
> I can go back to feeling guilty about my 1996 gasoline car...
> regards, mark hahn.
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Dr Stuart Midgley
sdm900 at sdm900.com
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