Kestrel Computing System

The Kestrel high-performance computing (HPC) system—expected to be operating in fiscal year 2023— will expand NREL's supercomputing capacity to 44 petaflops.

Countdown to Kestrel Blog

Read timely information on the installation of NREL's Kestrel HPC system.

Preparations for Kestrel’s Arrival in the Data Center

A technician on a ladder works in the data center

March 9, 2023
Yesterday, Encore Electric wrapped up the final wire installation, providing almost 2 megawatts of electrical distribution to a single row of computing equipment. Roy Fraley and Chris Burke are now able to install a basket tray that will allow us to connect the storage system to the compute cabinets.

“Systems of the size and scale of Kestrel don’t just plug into the wall like your laptop, so kudos are in order to Site Ops, ESIF Ops, Encore Electric, and the ACO team, all doing a great job getting the data center prepared,” explains Aaron Andersen, group manager of Advanced Computing Operations with NREL’s Computational Science Center.

An Early Glimpse At Kestrel in Wisconsin

Feb. 28, 2023
Several team members visited the Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) factory in Wisconsin in mid-February to get a final review of the Kestrel Phase 1 before it ships to NREL. The team was able to check out the facility connections for the power and cooling infrastructure on Kestrel and validate the system's operations in HPE's data center, including logging in to the system for the first time.

"Getting an early look at these connections and verifying the power components while in factory is critical to ensuring a smooth install when it arrives at NREL," explains Roy Fraley, high-performance computing data center engineer with NREL's Computational Science Center.

Test and Development System, Eyas, Arrives at NREL Ahead of Kestrel

Jan. 6, 2023
At last! Kestrel is about to hatch…or rather, its baby sibling, Eyas.

The first pieces of the "test and development" system, Eyas, arrived at NREL in late December and the team has now gotten to work. Eyas is a much smaller system that will help NREL's team of computer scientists prepare for the large-scale installation and operations of Kestrel before it arrives in March. Eyas will help the team improve cyber-security posture, test software, and prepare the environment ahead of the full Kestrel build.

The system team is elated to finally have hands on the first components of the new system.

"Eyas has proven exceptionally valuable as we have been able to identify some issues in the software stack, correct those and provide hands on training to staff ensuring that common NREL models and applications are ready for the Kestrel system", said Aaron Andersen, group manager of Advanced Computing Operations with the Kestrel project.

A photo of three people standing in a computer server room and computers internal parts.
NREL's Kestrel team work on the test system, Eyas, to prepare for the eventual arrival of Kestrel. Photo by Aaron Andersen.

How Does Kestrel Stack Up to NREL's Existing Eagle Supercomputer?

May 1, 2022
NREL's incoming high-performance computing system—Kestrel—will have superior advanced supercomputer capabilities compared to its predecessor, Eagle. For example, if the two were side by side on subway tracks, Kestrel would travel 5.5 times faster than Eagle.

See more real-world examples on how the Kestrel versus Eagle supercomputer stack-up.

Supply Chain Disruptions Delay Kestrel Arrival

Dec. 21, 2022
Not the news we wanted! The Kestrel team was notified in December 2022 that the delivery of the central processing unit (CPU) nodes for Kestrel would be delayed due to supply chain disruptions. This delay will postpone Kestrel's availability for use until mid-summer 2023.

NREL Acquires Next-Generation High Performance Computing System, Kestrel

Dec. 1, 2021
NREL publicly announces that Hewlett Packard Enterprise will build its third-generation, HPC system, called Kestrel. When Kestrel takes flight, it will help the United States soar toward a clean energy future. Read  how NREL acquired the next-generation HPC system.

The American Kestrel soaring through the air.