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HPE announces 3-year project to use AI and predictive analysis for smarter, greener data centers


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By Curt Hopkins, Managing Editor, Hewlett Packard Labs

Hewlett Packard Enterprise, with the help of Hewlett Packard Labs, is entering into a three-year collaboration with U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to optimize power, cooling, and IT operations for smarter and greener datacenters for the exascale era.

This AI Ops R&D collaboration will focus on developing artificial intelligence and specifically machine learning tech to automate and improve operational efficiency, including resiliency and energy usage in data centers.

The project is part of a three-year collaboration that introduces monitoring and predictive analytics to power and cooling systems in NREL’s Energy Systems Integration Facility HPC Data Center.

According to the press release, HPE and NREL are using more than five years’ worth of historical data, which total more than 16 terabytes of data, collected from sensors in NREL’s supercomputers, Peregrine and Eagle, and its facility, to train models for anomaly detection to predict and prevent issues before they occur.

“We believe our journey to develop and test AI Ops with NREL, one of our longstanding and innovative partners, will allow the industry to build and maintain smarter and more efficient supercomputing datacenters as they continue to scale power and performance,” says Mike Vildibill, vice president of Advanced Technologies Group at HPE.

The collaboration will also deal with future water and energy consumption in data centers, which in the U.S. alone will reach approximately 73 billion kilowatt hours and 174 billion gallons of water by 2020. Early results based on models trained with historical data have successfully predicted or identified events that previously occurred in NREL’s data center, demonstrating the promise of using predictive analytics in future datacenters.

Labs’ role will be to apply machine learning algorithms to the NREL data center, combining the data collected from the IT equipment with the facilities information drawn from the center's power and cooling infrastructure. This will produce a  comprehensive view of the entire supercomputer datacenter ecosystem 

“Labs has a long history of research in the use of disparate sources of data for anomaly detection and system optimization," says Cullen Bash, vice president of R&D for the organization.. "Partnering with NREL on AI Ops affords us a great opportunity to explore the application of this research to solving important problems like improving the efficiency, resiliency, and sustainability of data centers."

The AI Ops project issues from HPE’s R&D work on PathForward, an exascale computing program backed by the DOE. Applying AI-driven operations to an exascale supercomputer, which will run at a thousand times the speed of today’s systems.

To take a closer look, visit HPE booth 1325 at Supercomputing 2019 in Denver, Colorado, November 17-22.

For additional information on this collaboration, read the official press release

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Managing Editor, Hewlett Packard Labs