Cooling Performance Testing of Attaway's Negative Pressure CDU
Attaway is a recently installed High-Performance Computing (HPC) machine at Sandia National Labs that is 70% water-cooled and 30% air-cooled. This machine, supplied by Penguin Computing, uses a novel new cooling system from Chilldyne that operates in a vacuum, preventing water leaks. If water-cooling is to fail, fans inside of each node will ramp up to do 100% of the cooling on Attaway. Various tests were completed on Attaway to determine the robustness of its cooling system as well as its ability to respond to sudden changes in states. These changes include an immediate change from an idle compute load to full load (Linpack) as well as running Linpack without any water cooling from Attaway's CDUs. It was discovered that Attaway could respond to sudden compute load changes very well, never throttling any nodes. When Linpack was run without water cooling, the system was able to operate for a short time before throttling happened.
The 2021 case study below succinctly outlines the innovative approach at Sandia.