HPE Selected to Build NREL’s New Supercomputer: Kestrel
HOUSTON, Texas, Dec. 1, 2021 — Hewlett Packard Enterpriseannounced today that it is has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), a world leader in advancing energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, to build a new supercomputer to support ongoing R&D that will transform energy from geothermal, water, wind, solar, and fuels. The new supercomputer will also support energy initiatives related to security, resilience, storage, systems integration, energy justice, and community transitions, as well as transportation and mobility, buildings, and advanced manufacturing.
In continuing its naming theme of supercomputers that honors various bird species, such as with previous system generations named “Peregrine” and “Eagle,” NREL has named the new supercomputer “Kestrel,” after the American falcon.
HPE will build Kestrel using the HPE Cray EX supercomputer, a next-generation high performance computing (HPC) platform that provides end-to-end HPC solutions to scale performance and harness insights more efficiently through advanced modeling, simulation, AI and analytics capabilities. As the dedicated HPC system for DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Kestrel will play a critical role in computing across the research portfolio, advancing research in computational materials, continuum mechanics, and large-scale simulation and planning for future energy systems.
The HPE Cray EX also features liquid-cooling capabilities that support NREL’s showcase facility for demonstrating data center efficiency, which has achieved a world-leading annualized average power usage effectiveness (PUE) rating of 1.036.
“HPE has a long-standing collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) where we have developed joint high performance computing and AI solutions to innovate new approaches that reduce energy consumption and lower operating costs,” said Bill Mannel, vice president and general manager, HPC, at HPE. “We look forward to continuing our relationship with NREL and are honored to have been selected to deliver an advanced supercomputer with Kestrel that will significantly augment the laboratory’s efforts in making breakthrough discoveries of new, affordable energy sources to prepare for a sustainable future.”
For a significant boost in computing capacity, HPE will feature next generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors (code-named “Sapphire Rapids”), NVIDIA A100Next Tensor Core GPUs to accelerate AI, and HPE Slingshot, an Ethernet fabric purposely built for next-generation supercomputing to address higher speed and congestion control for larger data-intensive and AI workloads. Additionally, NREL’s Kestrel will deliver more than 75 petabytes of parallel file system storage using the Cray Clusterstor E1000 storage system from HPE for expanded storage and intelligent tiering capabilities to tackle complex, dataintensive workflows.
“NREL is excited to officially announce the procurement of our new supercomputer,” said Kris Munch, Lab Program Manager of Advanced Computing at NREL. “Kestrel will help EERE researchers and industry partners tackle today’s toughest energy challenges and bring the United States one step closer to a clean energy future.”
Once completed in 2023, Kestrel will have more than five times greater performance than NREL’s existing system, Eagle, with approximately 44 petaflops of peak performance. It will be hosted in NREL’s Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) data center in Golden, Colorado.
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