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Keeping on Track | DUG McCloud Progress Report

MD Matt Lamont inspects pipes in Houston

When building a huge geophysically-configured supercomputer in a purpose-built exascale compute facility, precision is paramount.

Described as the world’s most powerful supercomputer, the facility will be 250 single-precision petaflops when fully installed. The vast machine will have the power, room, and plans in hand to expand beyond an exaflop, as demand increases.

DUG McCloud will be powered by one of the most compute-dense data centres on earth. This is why every single inch of the Skybox data halls is maximised, and why in addition to highly experienced on-site project managers, we also send our DUG McCloud team over to Houston to check every step of the process.

The north wall at Skybox, Houston

The north wall of the facility is 50m (165ft) long, without a single inch of space to spare. Every section of this great wall is occupied with power distribution boards, CRACs, BMS (Building Management System), and air handlers.

The smallest miscalculation could mean something important doesn’t fit — and everything has to start again.

Underfloor pipes
Bubba the supercomputer is fed by many miles of water pipes under the floor in Houston

When you have 20 km (13 miles) of pipes to install, there is no room for error — everything has to be exact to the last fraction of an inch.

722 tanks will eventually be housed in the Skybox data centre in Houston, and there are 38 tanks to a row. If these tanks are not positioned exactly, it could impact both the number of tanks in a row — or even access to the room itself.

Any mistake in installation of tanks or pipes could mean reduced capacity, or a lack of access to important under floor equipment. Everything needs to be completely correct, to maximise the density of our compute facility.

DownUnder GeoSolutions