Compute, Preserve, Repeat: The Sustainable HPC Research Mantra for Success

June 20th, 2023 by Armel Bile, Product Marketing Manager at Atempo

Welcome to the world of High-Performance Computing (HPC) research, where your compute, your data, and your archives not only drive scientific discovery but also contribute to sustainability efforts. Just like the famous mantra “eat, pray, love”, in HPC research, it’s all about managing, preserving, and repeating to achieve success while minimizing the environmental impact.

So, put on your lab coat and let’s dive into the exciting journey of sustainable HPC research, where we’ll explore how archiving plays a more than ever crucial role in scientific endeavors.

Compute: The Green Engine of Discovery 

In the current trend of seeking energy efficiency and reducing data center consumption, HPC centers are evolving and implementing sustainable tactics:

  1. Utilize energy-efficient HPC technologies: Choose processors and accelerators designed to be energy-efficient, and opt for green data centers that prioritize sustainability. By minimizing energy consumption and carbon emissions using energy-efficient technologies, you can reduce your environmental impact while driving research advancements.
  2. Consolidate workloads: Consolidate workloads and utilize idle compute resources. By optimizing your compute resources and avoiding unnecessary energy consumption, you can reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to environmental conservation.
  3. Embrace renewable energy sources: Power your HPC infrastructure with renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, or hydroelectric power, to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. By utilizing renewable energy sources, you can significantly reduce your environmental impact and promote sustainability in your HPC operations.

Implementing these sustainable practices in your HPC research reduces environmental impact, contributes to environmental conservation, and promotes sustainability in your operations. Your HPC research can make a positive impact on the planet while driving scientific advancements.

Preserve: Safeguarding Your Data and the Environment 

Preserving data and archives in sustainable ways is essential in HPC research to minimize e-waste generation and promote responsible data management practices. Here are some key aspects to consider:

  • Use open formats: By storing your data in open formats that are not tied to specific storage technologies, ensuring accessibility and usability as technology evolves.
  • Enrich your archive with metadata: Adding meaningful metadata to describe content, context, and provenance, facilitating future researchers’ understanding and identification of relevant data sets.
  • Consider “glacier-type” cloud storage or tape storage for archives: When it comes to archiving data for the long term, options like “glacier-type” cloud storage or tape storage can be more eco-friendly compared to traditional disk-based storage.
  • Carbon emissions comparison: Studies have shown that tape-based archiving generally has lower carbon emissions than disk-based storage, contributing to a greener approach to data archiving.
  • Data lifespan comparison: Tape-based archiving offers a longer data lifespan compared to other storage technologies, minimizing the need for frequent migrations or data refreshes, which can be resource-intensive and environmentally impactful.

By considering these aspects in your data preservation strategies, you can contribute to a more sustainable approach to HPC research, ensuring longevity of your data while minimizing the environmental impact.

Repeat: The Sustainable Quest for Excellence 

In sustainable HPC research, “repeat” means more than just iterating methods. It encompasses a mindset of continuous improvement and sustainability practices to minimize the environmental impact.

  • Foster a culture of sustainability: Encourage responsible computing practices among your team, such as turning off idle compute resources, reducing unnecessary data transfers, and promoting awareness of environmental impact.
  • Collaborate for sustainability: Collaborate with other researchers, institutions, and vendors to collectively work towards sustainable HPC practices, share best practices, and promote sustainability initiatives in the HPC community.
  • Incorporate sustainability in research evaluation: Consider sustainability as a parameter for evaluating research impact and recognition, encouraging researchers to adopt sustainable practices in their HPC projects.


In the fast-paced world of HPC research, preserving your data and archives sustainably is crucial. By using  open formats, enriching data with metadata, and considering eco-friendly storage options like cloud storage or tape archiving, you can embrace the “compute, preserve, repeat” approach with a sustainability focus. Safeguard your data while making a positive impact on the environment. Join the sustainable HPC revolution and contribute to a greener future of scientific discovery.


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