A fresh new twitter post this morning
— BSC-CNS (@BSC_CNS) November 21, 2017
reminded me that I wanted to write a blog. A blog about the current voting for the DCD Awards, category “World’s Most Beautiful Data Center”. Well, voting is nearly over (NAY – you still have time until November 27!! So hurry!), but I thought to still write this article. Just to support the one site, that hosts the – in my view – definitely most beautiful data center or better supercomputer in the world: MareNostrum at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC).
During my long and amazing “mandate” 😁 as a Product Marketing Manager for Enterprise Linux at SUSE, responsible also for HPC, I got the marvelous opportunity to visit quite a few of the most important data centers and supercomputing sites you can imagine.
SuperMUC at LRZ SuperMUC's unique cooling system
Just like the Leibniz Data Center in Munich hosting SuperMUC, or the Waterford Institute of Technology in Ireland, home of the Irish Centre for High-End Computing with Fionn (and I am proud to say that both systems run SUSE Linux Enterprise Server!).
Waterford Institute of Technology ... and supercomputer Fionn
You might already have realized it from previous blogs I published here: I am really kind of addicted to these incredibly powerful systems. For a number of years, I worked with many different HPC organizations. And still, quite often it is incomprehensible to me, and at the same time awesome, what research, education, technology and entertainment can achieve thanks to the availability of supercomputers, and how HPC meanwhile impacts our daily lives.
Several of these supercomputers are sheer artwork, a composition of architecture and technology. For me, it was always an adventure – and an honor – to get a tour of any of these extraordinary data centers.
But there was one that particularly did blow me away at first sight, back in 2008: MareNostrum. As MareNostrum runs SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, my colleague and I were invited to a tour by Sergi Girona, Director of Operations at BSC and PRACE Vice-Chair.
Back in 2008- tour with Sergi Girona Inside the Chapel
The entire Torre Girona estate, where the UPC (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya) including BSC is located, dates from 1860 and was the private summer residence of the former mayor and banker Manuel Girona. The chapel was built much later, but was deconsecrated in the 1970s, which means it could be used for non-religious purposes. Installing a high-tech system in an old chapel was a brilliant move: the illumination, the stained-glass church windows, the columns and arches add a very special touch and make for a unique atmosphere.
Chapel Torre Girona
Still cogitating if MareNostrum is the most beautiful supercomputer (respectively data center) in the world? Just convince yourself – fortunately the BSC offers the opportunity to apply for a visit. But even without having been there in person yet, I hope you’ve got an impression of its particular beauty (and if not here you find more pictures) – so that now you can vote for MareNostrum 😉.
Disclaimer: The text at hand has not been reviewed by a native speaker. If you find typos or language mistakes, please send them to me (email@example.com) – or if you like them, just keep them and feed them. 😆