Thursday, March 9, 2017

The University of Utah Downtown Data Center

I finally got to see the computers I work on all the time. I took a trip to the University of Utah Downtown Data Center where the Center for High Performance Computing resources are located.

The building is an old Coca-Cola bottling plant built in 1938. It is as long as a city block. It is unmarked, for security purposes, and the windows are all fake. two inches on the other side of the window is about 8-12 inches of concrete and reinforced steel. The building can use up to 2.4 megawatts of power, but typically uses only 1. Power resources can be scaled up to 10 megawatts. There is quite a bit of redundant power sources. Everything runs on battery backup, which can sustain the building's computer resources for 15 minutes. But, it only takes about a second for diesel generators to kick on in a power outage. There are about 40 miles of copper in the building. Fans and sprinklers regulate the environmental temperature and humidity. Fine particulate's is also monitored and filtered.
Downtown Data Center, an old Coca Cola bottling plant

This reminded me of my own cable pulling days working for Nebo School District. Though, I never dealt with this much wire!

Fans and misters. It was really windy walking between the computer room and this room due to a large pressure difference.

Back up generators. They have enough fuel to run the place for a few weeks in an emergency.

Me with the CHPC PANDO archive. This is where my HRRR archive is located.

Kingspeak nodes. This is where I run my WRF simulations.

The back side of the Kingspeak computer.

A few computers used by researchers in our department.

Data is stored on these terabyte disks.

Computers I do my daily work on: gl1, gl2, meso1, meso2, meso3, and meso4.

I was so happy to finally met my computer.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Cold Front: February 22, 2017

A cold front swept through Utah yesterday evening. You can see it move north to south at the locations plotted below.
  • Blue = Salt Lake Airport
  • Green = Point of the Mountain
  • Red = Orem
  • Orange = Spanish Fork

Nearly a 30 degree drop in temperature is quite impressive for a cold front. It rain most the evening and turned to snow overnight mostly impacting Utah County

A look at the wind speed and direction:

Tuesday, February 21, 2017