DELPHYS Xtend GP : Providing the protection of a supercomputer

The Met Office (UK) delivers over 3,000 precise daily forecasts and briefings to the broadest possible range of customers, from the Armed Forces, Civil Aviation Authority and Government to the media, businesses and the public.

Founded in 1854 as an experimental government department to research the possibilities of forecasting the weather – mainly to protect the safety of ships and their crews at sea – today, the Met Office is recognized as a world leader in the provision of weather and climate services, employing more than 1700 people at 60 locations around the world.

Processing more than 10 million weather observations every day, using an advanced atmospheric model and high performance supercomputer, The Met Office ensures that accurate weather and climate advice is available around the clock. Helping agencies and governments take emergency measures, as well as making tactical plans and strategic choices, the information that the Met Office provides undoubtedly reduces environmental risks and improves the resilience of the UK to extreme weather.

The requirements

One of the reasons that the Met Office is so successful in its mission is that every activity – every data exchange – is based on world-leading science and supported by robust and innovative technology.

A key investment – the £97 million HPC project based at the Met Office HQ in Exeter – was first operational in 2015 and is scheduled to reach full capacity this year. Expected to be one of the most powerful High Performance Computers (HPC) on the planet, the supercomputer will deliver improved observations, science and modelling.

With computing capacity to process over 14,000 trillion calculations per second, this supercomputer will firmly establish the UK’s position as a world leader in weather forecasting and climate prediction, able to provide unparalleled support to businesses, the government and the public.

The provision of a guaranteed power supply – with inherent flexibility to accommodate evolving equirements – is itself an essential component of the Met Office’s HPC systems. With a reputation built on accuracy, robustness and reliability, the Met Office needed a critical power infrastructure to match.

The solution

Delphys Xtend GP – an extension of the highly energy efficient Green Power 2.0 modular UPS range – has been designed specifically for the very largest Data Centres, providing a complete and scalable high performance system that can be built-up in power blocks of 200 kW up to 1200 kW. The Delphys Xtend GP combines all the efficiency benefits of the GP 2.0 technology with the simplicity of I / O architecture – and the scalability of a modular system.

The simple Cable In / Cable Out (I / O) architecture simplifies upstream and downstream switchboards. This flexibility allows more effective use of capital, as the system power can be matched to current demand, allowing investment in new power blocks to be made only when it is required. As the system has been designed to allow the power blocks to be hot-swappable, if required, the load can be fully protected by on-line double conversion during system extension or maintenance.

This prewired system has an individual Socomec switching system for each power block enabling easy and safe coupling and disconnection.

The advantages

The Delphys Xtend GP enables large datacentre operators to more effectively manage their initial capital investment whilst also reducing on-going operational costs. This modular UPS system provides an optimised solution for a set of truly unique requirements – whilst also being mindful of the Met Office’s underlying objectives in terms of efficiency, availability, reliability and Total Cost of Ownership. Offering unique modularity, the system uses 200 kVA units in parallel to protect critical IT systems.

“The investment in the supercomputer is an investment in the future of the prosperity, safety and wellbeing of the UK. Protecting and leveraging that investment is critical.

From daily updates to severe weather warnings, high performance computing is an essential component of everything that we do at the Met Office. This enhanced processing power will help us to protect life and property – and will also enable us to turn more science into services.

Socomec has provided invaluable support to our systems for over 15 years, working closely with us to create bespoke solutions to our precise requirements. Our reputation is built on pinpoint accuracy, robustness and reliability; Socomec’s solutions have been engineered to deliver innovative systems that optimise the performance of our organisation.” M. Peter CLAYTON-WHITE, Met Office Building Services