Home of sustainable computing: HPC in a cold climate with Borealis Data Center

6 February 2023 | 15 Shares

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Energy costs can greatly impact any data-intensive operation, and with the earth warming up, cooling systems and renewable energy are essential for high-performance computing and, incidentally, our long-term survival on the planet. Whether you’re concerned about the variable energy cost that’s spiraling outside your direct control or you desire to significantly reduce carbon emissions, we might just have the answer for you right here.

Any organization wanting to set up a cloud or offsite compute quickly recognizes the need to preserve its resources. High-performance computing not only needs significant amounts of energy, but the right location and service provider to ensure cost-efficient and sustainable practices.

There are no easy answers to the puzzle of high-end compute vs. carbon and dollar costs, even though intelligent progress has been and continues to be made. One example is the new third submarine data cable running from Iceland to Galway in Ireland, named IRIS, which has significantly increased and diversified connectivity to Iceland and lowered latency to its key markets.

IRIS represents a resilient and reliable connection from Iceland to Europe, making Iceland an attractive spot for HPC hosting for any organization with an eye on the ecological impact of its activities. Iceland’s naturally cold climate reduces energy costs in a safe environment that has an abundance of renewable energy.


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With companies becoming more eco-conscious by the day, and energy costs skyrocketing across Europe, many are now looking towards Iceland for strategic partners, like Borealis DC. It’s a company that offers HPC at reliable prices delivered in an environmentally friendly manner.

Borealis DC delivers a strong case for an alternative upgrade in practical HPC hosting that fits the future needs of the market, especially in the context of the EU’s aim to reduce its CO2 emissions by at least 55% come 2030. Iceland’s nature is rich with geothermal and hydroelectric power that the population’s burgeoning IT industry and, specifically, its DC operators can harness for sustainable computing.

The surety of power availability allows Icelandic data centers like Borealis to offer long-term energy and price guarantees for their users. Fluctuations in availability and global electricity pricing is irrelevant in a country that is completely energy self-sufficient, providing end users with predictable and economical operations cost.

Borealis not only builds and operates sustainable data centers using renewable green energy but also harnesses Iceland’s ambient conditions through natural cooling solutions to achieve maximum efficiency. Renewable power and naturally cool data centers have the added significance that from day one, companies can hit their emission targets for what were “traditionally” highly carbon-producing workloads such as HPC, machine learning (ML), GPU-based compute and other high-density applications.

Data Centre

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Borealis Data Center has located its three facilities and extensive greenfield in three different low-risk zones in this already safe country. Its DCs present some of the highest uptime metrics we’ve seen, even in FLAP locations and its data centers’ PUE ranges from 1.1 to as low as 1.03 (for a single feed, Tier II service, for example). The carbon intensity of the power Borealis uses for its data centers is exceptionally low, around 2g per KW/hour, an admirable figure in the context of the EU’s target for sustainable energy production – i.e., power stations that emit less than 100g per KW/hour.

In our next article about high-performance computing in Iceland, we’ll look at the dedicated HPC facilities available from Borealis Data Center. It’s a company committed to offering high-performance computing and other typically power-intensive workloads, handling at prices that – quite literally – don’t cost the Earth.

Decision-makers are looking to alternatives in the EU’s inner market to be compliant with the approaching Green Deal and to escape fluctuating energy prices on the mainland. Iceland comes with the known advantages of being part of EU’s inner market via the European Economic Area (EEA).

Borealis Data Center’s HPC capabilities and green credentials are impressive. From trial colocation to building-scale commissioning, Borealis is one to add to your shortlist, a true home of sustainable computing. Find out more here.