– Lisa Rhodes, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at VerneGlobal, says:
From car manufacturers to government organizations to healthcare institutions, more and more companies are using high performance computing (HPC) to calculate heavy, critical loads of data. As IT professionals are aware, no longer can standard computers do the large amount of analytics and data crunching that is needed for select applications. The high-value, critical applications that are housed in HPC systems rely on parallelism to operate – allowing multiple, thousands or even millions of tasks to run simultaneously. These calculation-intensive applications use HPC to essentially accelerate the data processing, allowing quicker and more stable functioning. As the need for this acceleration continues to grow, the energy usage demand increases causing an energy showdown that can be avoided under the right circumstances.
According to the Department of Energy HPC Data Center meeting, the rising amount of HPC facilities is causing concern due to the rapid increase in electrical demand. In addition, a paperfrom the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL) expressed the idea that concerns over total cost of ownership (TCO) have moved the focus of the HPC system architecture towards concern over improving power efficiently. It also substantiates previous reports that power is becoming the leading constraint of HPC systems. A recent report from Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) confirms LBL’s statement and states that in the last 15 years, the cost for energy along with the density of HPC computer has risen sharply. Looking at where these HPC clusters are housed – in a data center – it isn’t uncommon for machines to consume over 30kW per rack and counting. Because of the high density, it is critical that efficient data center infrastructure and cooling systems are in place to help manage this.
Powering data centers and HPC systems while keeping low prices is no easy task. With the help of technology and green innovation, data centers around the world are thinking outside the box to address this issue. Enterprises are looking to not only lower their operating expenses without compromising quality but also lowering their carbon footprint. To do so, they want to ensure that all systems are running smoothly and all applications—especially critical, high-value applications— are protected without breaking the bank, which is where innovative data centers, like Verne Global, come in to play.
Seeing the uphill trend of power consumption continue, Verne Global set out to design a data center utilizing the natural power elements in its location in Keflavik, Iceland. Situated on a 45-acre former NATO base, Verne’s campus utilizes 100% renewable power that is dual-sourced from zero-carbon geothermal and hydroelectric plants. In addition to the abundance of power, Verne draws on Iceland’s ambient temperatures for free cooling in their 5,400 square foot modular structure. The green data center was designed to address power concerns from corporations as they look towards their own data center needs and options regarding availability, cost and carbon footprint.
BMW Group, a recently announced customer for Verne Global, is just one example of enterprises taking their HPC applications to green data centers. Safe from rising prices due to a long-term power agreement with a local operator, Verne Global customers are offered an affordable, fixed price. By moving several of their power-hungry applications, including crash simulations, aerodynamic calculations and computer aided design and engineering (CAD/CAE), to Verne Global’s campus, BMW will not only lower the cost and improve reliability of its HPC operations but also continue to honor its corporate commitment to greener operations.
According to Convey Computer Corporation, reducing power without sacrificing performance is one of the most important issues facing the HPC community in the next few years. It’s up to data center operators to think creatively and help solve the problem. If the selection of Verne’s state-of-the-art facility for housing critical HPC applications for BMW is any indication, green data centers are on the fast track to solving the complex energy issues currently facing the industry.