Data Center News Roundup: AWS Layoffs, New Chips, and Hot Crops

In this week's top data center news stories, Amazon announces more layoffs, QScale plans to grow fruit with data center heat, and Nvidia launches new AI hardware.

Dylan Fisher, Digital SEO Content & Copy Editor

March 24, 2023

4 Min Read
Data Center News Roundup: Top Data Center News
pichetw / Alamy Stock Photo

With data center news moving faster than ever, we want to make it easy for data center professionals to cut through the noise and find the most important stories of the week.

The Data Center Knowledge News Roundup brings you the latest news and developments across the data center industry — from investments and mergers to security threats and industry trends.

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Amazon Continues to Shear Back Its Workforce—This Time Its AWS

We started off the week with another layoff announcement: an additional 9,000 employees from Amazon, including those in the profitable AWS division. Monday’s announcement marks Amazon’s third round of firings in the last six months.

In justifying these layoffs, CEO Andy Jassy reiterated the same rather insincere-sounding talking points that we’ve come to expect from many Silicon Valley tech leaders: “Given the uncertain economy in which we reside, and the uncertainty that exists in the near future, we have chosen to be more streamlined in our costs and headcount.”

Legislation in Virginia, Oregon, and Idaho Moves Forward

In the Old Dominion State, as data center-related taxes are projected to bring in over $100 million for Prince William County, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality removed Prince William (alongside Fairfax County) from its proposal to relax backup diesel generator restrictions. Now, only Loudon County, which coincidentally projects a whopping $500 million in tax revenue from its data centers, remains on the proposal.

Oregon and Idaho are also facing the prospect of tightening data center restrictions. In Idaho, the House of Representatives approved HB 328, a bill that would block data centers from being built in “urban renewal districts.” In Oregon, House Bill 2816, which would require data centers to move to cleaner sources of power, is scheduled for a March 27 committee vote.

Growing Produce With Data Center Heat

The search for a solution to recycling data center heat waste continues — this week in the indoor agriculture sector. QScale, a Canadian colo provider, is planning an $867 million data center-cum-farming development in Lévis, Québec.

QScale’s proposed data center campus will be paired with large greenhouses built next door to repurpose the excess server heat to help grow small fruit and tomatoes year-round.

Outages in the West, Errors in the East

In California, a data center for The Internet Archive, a non-profit that provides free access to a massive collection of websites and other digital content, went down as a result of a PG&E outage in the area. The increasing frequency of PG&E outages in the past several years is no coincidence. Rather, as ArsTechnica wrote in 2021, this is the result of PG&E’s “chronic underinvestment in maintenance and operations” in the face of a rapidly changing climate.

On the other coast, Google Cloud reported unusually high latency and elevated errors for several days in its US-East region. Google’s preliminary analysis blamed these slowdowns on “an unexpected increase in traffic.”

Nvidia Announces Developments for Generative AI

We saw lots of buzz around Nvidia this week. At its GTC AI conference on Tuesday, Nvidia announced a partnership with Oracle Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud to launch an AI supercomputer cloud service that will allow businesses to use Nvidia’s AI supercomputers and software for natural language processing, computer vision, and machine learning applications.

Additionally, Nvidia announced a breakthrough in its computational lithography software for chip design alongside two new GPUs for generative AI workloads: the Nvidia L4 and Nvidia H100 NVL. Wylie Wong covered these announcements — and more — in an in-depth report for Data Center Knowledge.

Other Great Reads on DCK This Week

What Is Technical Debt? Definitions, Examples, and More. While tech debt isn’t something your team wants, it’s likely something you have. In this guide, we look at what technical debt is, where it accumulates, and how to address it.

Women in Tech Is More Than a Corporate Training Exercise. Why aren’t more women entering and staying in tech? Carrie Goetz offers concrete suggestions for how to fix the lack of gender parity in the data center industry.

How CXL Is Set to Make a Profound Impact on Data Centers. Tim Stammers breaks down how the new Compute Express Link (CXL) protocol will reduce data center costs, increase application performance, and introduce new rack-level architectures.

That's all for this week. Which of these stories is most important to you? Let us know in the comments below!

About the Author(s)

Dylan Fisher

Digital SEO Content & Copy Editor

Dylan Fisher is the Digital SEO Content & Copy Editor at ITPro Today, Data Center Knowledge, Information Week, and Network Computing. He's the author of "The Loneliest Band in France." He lives with his wife, Danielle, and their two adopted dogs, Rosie and Daisy, in Atlanta, GA.

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