Airbus, one of the world’s largest aircraft manufacturers, has doubled its usable supercomputing power with containerised HP Performance Optimised Datacentres (PODs).

In the final phase of a four-year high-performance computing (HPC) deployment, Airbus has taken delivery of two HP PODs, making this the world’s largest industrial HPC system and one of the first confirmed commercial HPC container contracts. This deployment is the 29th biggest computer in the world according to the official TOP500 Supercomputer list published in June.

Manufactured and tested by HP, the modular HP PODs were delivered to Airbus sites in Toulouse, France and Hamburg, Germany. Each POD contains all the elements of an HP Converged Infrastructure. This includes servers, storage, networking, software, management as well as integrated power and cooling.

A total of 2 016 clustered HP ProLiant BL280 G6 blade servers enable the two 12 meters-long containers to deliver the equivalent of nearly 1 000 square meters of data centre space.

The HP PODs have enabled Airbus to quickly expand data centre capacity, boosting computing performance for aircraft development while saving space and energy. Compared to an installation in a nearby customer data centre, the water-cooled HP PODs consume up to 40% less power. With a near-optimum Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) rating of 1.25 from The Green Grid consortium, Airbus decreased operating expenses while delivering power capacity in excess of 15 KW/m2.

HP Enterprise Services provides data centre services for Airbus, while HP Technology Services managed the transportation, deployment and commissioning at the customer site. For this project, HP managed the preparation of the new infrastructure, the technology decisions and the technical elements of the transition.