Data Center Case Study - Virginia Tech


Virginia Tech


Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, popularly known as Virginia Tech, is a comprehensive university of national and international prominence. With about 25,000 full-time students and the home of groundbreaking research, Virginia Tech produces world-class scholarship in a challenging academic environment.

The Situation

When Virginia Tech initiated plans to build a supercomputer by clustering hundreds of desktop computers, it had ambitious goals for the performance of the new system and a very aggressive schedule. The final plan involved a cluster of 1,100 64-bit Power Mac G5 dual-processor computers. If successful, this cluster would significantly expand the university’s capabilities and enable it to simulate the behavior of natural or human-engineered systems, rather than relying on observation or physical modeling. But the cluster created significant data center cooling challenges that could not be addressed through traditional approaches.


  • Eliminated the need to build a new data center for the supercomputer.
  • Optimized energy efficiency and space utilization.
  • Fast response from Liebert and other partners enabled the project to stay on an aggressive schedule and qualify as the world’s third-fastest supercomputer.
"It was clear that traditional approaches to cooling would not be sufficient by themselves. Fortunately, Liebert had a solution."
- Kevin Shinpaugh, director of research and cluster computing, Virginia Tech
Case Summary
Location: Blacksburg, Virginia
Products and Services: Liebert XD cooling system
Liebert Foundation® racks
Critical Needs: Provide focused high-capacity data center cooling for supercomputer cluster.

Read more about the Virginia Tech case study.​