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San Diego Supercomputer Center


Founded in 1985, the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) is an organized research unit of the University of California, San Diego and is located on the UC San Diego campus. Its mission is to extend the reach of scientific accomplishments by providing tools such as high-performance hardware technologies, integrative software technologies, and deep interdisciplinary expertise to the community. SDSC has served more than 10,000 researchers at 300 academic, government and industrial institutions globally.

The Situation

The San Diego Supercomputer Center’s role as a national data center repository and national cyber-infrastructure center, coupled with a renewed role within the University of California system to become a key resource for the system’s researchers, led to the need to add both high and low-density data storage capacity. In 2006 the center broke ground on a new 90,000 square foot building, doubling the Center’s physical size and adding trillions of bytes of data capacity and powerful supercomputers.

Within this facility, SDSC maintains two data centers totaling approximately 19,000 square feet. The larger of the two data centers, at approximately 14,500 square feet, is also the older of the two. Known as the West Room, it utilizes a hot–aisle containment configuration. The newer data center, known as the East Room, is approximately 4,500 square feet. But as data needs grow with technology, so too does the need to encourage energy efficiency. With this in mind, SDSC partnered with Emerson Network Power’s Liebert Associates of Southern California representative office to optimize two unique data center deployments in pursuit of a singular goal: improve energy efficiency to establish the facility as a “green” data center without impacting the availability of critical systems.


  • Designed an efficient, optimized cooling infrastructure for both data centers, taking into account the unique characteristics of each (density, rack composition, etc.) to provide two different, yet effective, solutions.
  • Enabled SDSC to meet its need to add both low and high-density data capacity while providing sustainable, energy-saving cooling solutions
  • Implemented next generation cooling technologies in the new data center to reduce the PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) rating from 1.5 to 1.3 and utilized existing technologies in the older data center to reduce the PUE from 1.8 to 1.5.
Case Summary
Location: San Diego, California
Products and Services: Aisle Containment System from Emerson Network Power:
Emerson Network Power 19” server racks
Modular ceiling solution
Vertical curtain door and ceiling solutions
Critical Needs: Improve energy efficiency in both the existing large data center and new small data center.

Read more about the San Diego Supercomputer Center case study.​