Datacenters are Here to Stay: Let’s Make them Smarter!
How can a datacenter be smart? Clearly, behind the planning, the design, the selection of the site where to build it, the construction of the facility itself… behind all of this, there are humans. And, by experience, human decisions are all driven by political, economic, and practical reasons. Nothing to argue here, in the end, we are talking about business. So, to answer the question, datacenters per se cannot be smart. But those who are in charge, those who design, those who decide which building materials to use or how to cool the racks or if it is possible to use renewable energies, etc.… well, those people can and should be smart. Smart enough to understand that the debate around the impact of datacenters on the environment is necessary, but it is only a first step. Smart enough to foresee that the industry needs better, sustainable solutions now and not in 15-20 years
Don’t Ask “Why”. Ask “How”?
Simon Sinek, an author, and optimist that became famous in recent years, would tell you to look for your “why”, in your personal and professional life. Thing is, we already know the “why” we need smart datacenters, or as we call them at Submer, Datacenters that make sense.
The whole digital sector, with more than 4 billion users worldwide, accounts for 2.3% of global gas emissions1. And the datacenter industry alone is responsible for 1% of the world’s electricity consumption2 and about 0.5% of CO2 emission. According to a recent study by Science3, from 2010 to 2018, the energy consumption of datacenters increased by 6% as a result of a huge growth of storage capacity, network traffic and computing volumes.
Datacenters have become suddenly protagonists of an epochal digital chance that happened “overnight” (and by “overnight” here we mean, more or less in an 11-12-month period, i.e. when the Coronavirus emergency situation started).
Society cannot turn its back to progress. Progress is inevitable. And, whether you like it or not, progress spells “datacenters”.
We might think and argue around the “why’s” behind this extraordinary collective propulsion towards a digitalized future. But, probably, it would be better if the datacenter industry would start thinking about the “how’s”.
How are we going, as an industry, to plan and support this abnormal, ever-growing digital growth? How are we going to create solutions that are environmentally sound? How can we help define a new economic model, pivoting around the concept of sustainable innovation?
Introducing the Smart DC
At Submer, we have been working on a set of technologies that allow our customers to reach unrivalled IT density and unprecedented levels of efficiency and security in an easily scalable and sustainable way.
The mission of Smart DC is to provide datacenters, hyperscalers and supercomputers with a series of solutions aimed at improving the energetic and operational efficiency. This has a consequent positive impact on the TCO and a reduction in terms of electricity and water consumption and CO2 emissions.
During the last OCP Tech Week, Scott Noteboom (CTO of Submer) presented one of the building blocks of Smart DC: the Network Backplane. The latest addition to Submer’s solution portfolio of smart energy, Immersion Cooling and automated solutions for datacenters is the result of the Out-of-sight project, in collaboration with Samtec and 2CRSi.
The Network Backplane is meant to:
- Offer a reference design compatible with traditional and OPC servers.
- Take intra-rack communication to the next level and enable a new generation of TOR switch density gains.
- Swiftly bring the industry to a fully-automated, lights-out, energy smarter scenario.
- Deliver high density and life-cycle reliability improvements.
- Facilitate autonomous serviceability of networking and server nodes.
High Efficiency in a Sustainable Way. Anywhere.
The interaction between datacenters and society is changing profoundly. A new scenario is defining on the horizon, and very likely we will witness a deep change of the physical architecture of the digital network. The concept of “datacenters” itself will probably change, from monolithic buildings on the outskirt of the cities to small, distributed, autonomous “datacenters-in-a-box”, integrated in the urban environment.
By 20224, 29 billion devices will be connected to the global network. More than half of those being IoT and Edge device5.
5G, M2M, Smart Cars, AI, High-Frequency Trading, Video Streaming, Smart Working are among the new digital trends behind a 40% YoY growth of the datacenter industry with an irreversible spike in data. Datacenters will need then a greater power density and this, on its turn, creates a need for a proper cooling strategy to optimally cool the chips, extend HW life-span and avoid IT failure and consequent downtime.
Submer has designed a liquid Immersion Cooling flexible and modular solution that addresses the needs of a new breed of datacenters, and especially of Cloud and Edge computing, bringing high-density compute anywhere is needed. The MicroPod is a self-contained datacenter-in-a-box that, thanks to its compact design allows for immediate deployment in any kind of environment, also in harsh climate regions.
Gentle on your Hardware, Gentle to the Environment
The design of the MicroPod and the use of the proprietary SmartCoolant, allow to dissipate up to 6kW in a compact space while guaranteeing extended hardware lifespan. This obviously translates into improved reliability, resilience, and levels of security.
“The MicroPod has been designed to bring efficiency and low latency right where our customers most need them. It has all the benefits of our Immersion Cooling solutions, but thanks to its integrated design, and being impervious to dust, heat and humidity, it offers the advantage of flexible deployment indoors and also outdoors (telco cabinets, containers, office, etc.) ” (Pol Valls Soler, Co-founder, and CIO of Submer)
From a sustainability standpoint, the MicroPod helps Edge-players to:
- Get a low energy footprint.
- Reduce the CO2 emissions.
- Achieve zero water consumption.
Our mission at Submer is to enable Datacenters that make sense. The Network Backplane and the MicroPod are just two examples of smart technologies that are meant to help datacenters and Edge and Cloud players be more efficient in their day-to-day operations and minimize their impact on the environment.
We strongly believe that innovation can and must be sustainable. If you want to know more, get in touch with us and let’s make datacenters smarter together.