The Northern Lights of Borealis Data Center = HPC Excellence

25 April 2023 | 15 Shares

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Depending on whether you listen more to AMD or Intel, zettascale computing will be achieved as early as 2027 or as “late” as 2032. For those unaware, that’s 1024 floating point operations per second. Naturally, since exascale computing was achieved in 2022, the chip manufacturers and the HPC community would always line up the next prize, and it’s obvious that companies are continuing to invest big money into faster computing for the foreseeable future.

As it stands, faster computing on any scale you can imagine must be met with sufficiently flexible infrastructure and energy efficiency that are both sustainable and cost-effective. This is why Borealis Data Center is such a rare gem for those companies hunting for the complete package of sustainable and efficient computing. With three highly affordable and top-of-the-line data centers in Iceland ready to cater to any compute challenge – with next to no environmental impact – Borealis provides an eco-friendly solution for their clients. The flexibility and scalability provided by Borealis DC’s three data centers are key elements when it comes to accommodating the growing demands of the market.

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With society’s digital transformation underway the necessary adaptation can be a resource-draining and often difficult venture for many companies. Borealis makes the journey easier with the HPC and colocation services on offer – securing EU Green Deal compliance for its clients from day one, while reducing their CO2 emissions. Allowing organizations to meet their ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) goals, while being protected by the unique benefit of long-term energy pricing as a feature of the service provided.

And considering the huge value that high-performance computing brings to those investing in its capabilities, it becomes vitally important that those large data sets, offering unique insights, make economic and environmental sense for the near future. And quite literally – operate at prices that don’t cost the Earth.

The decreasing correlation between data-intensive applications and power efficiency remains one of the biggest challenges for organizations attempting to leverage the yields of HPC at a realistic budget. High-end compute will remain, for the most part, expensive until new generations of chip technology come on-stream offering features like <5nm circuitry, 3D on-chip memory, and optical interconnects, to name a few. Until then, high energy prices mean monetary and environmental expenses, with a surprising ratio of those costs spent on cooling, especially when not located in a cool place.

Those costs can keep HPC’s use necessarily limited for many potential users, with outcomes limited to proven value areas in production systems – like product simulation and analysis, or in other limited-scope R&D projects. However, leveraging Borealis Data Centers cost-efficient services and long-term energy prices does provide a realistic base of operations, making sure, among other things, that the finance department breathes a bit more easily.

Thanks to new tranches of fiber optic submarine cabling many potential HPC converts are looking to Iceland as the go-to country when locating dedicated HPC resources or leveraging an emerging generation of HPC-as-a-service providers’ offerings. The huge majority of HPC computing doesn’t require exceptionally low latency metrics which is evident by the fact that business and consumers don’t need proximity to their actual data centers, as most applications are not latency sensitive nor dependent on local DC connections. Therefore, it helps to think about data and most applications within a paradigm that does not require resource-constrained locations to support them, but rather visions data centers in a more sustainable and cost-efficient location. A realization that is dawning on the €450 billion global cloud computing industry as the Nordic data center market gains a stronger foothold with the rise of the emerging new paradigm.

With the new submarine fiber connection between Reykjavik and Galway in Ireland – IRIS –Icelands national total comes to three discrete fiber links to Europe, and one to North America, with typical latency to Borealis DC’s facilities in the south-west of Iceland, namely Fitjar DC and Reykjavík DC, via IRIS coming to around 10ms and rising slightly to Blönduós DC, which is located further north, next to the award winning Blanda hydropower station.

Blönduós DC, North Iceland

The country is consistently ranked as one of the safest and most stable in the world, and it’s one of the few that is powered by 100% renewable energy. In fact, Iceland generates the cleanest electricity per person on Earth – nearly nine times the European Union average. Thanks to Iceland’s unique natural resources, HPC workloads have some of the world’s best electrical CO2 intensity metrics.

Source: Landsvirkjun Data centers – The National Power Company of Iceland (

Furthermore, because the country’s energy is entirely domestically produced, pricing isn’t contingent on external circumstances – like the price hike per kilowatt hour caused by the current crisis in Ukraine. Borealis buys its energy months or years in advance with long-term PPAs (power purchase agreements) from local energy producers, so its HPC users have guaranteed price lock-ins at incredibly competitive rates, especially when compared with the FLAP-D market.

Part of the savings passed onto customers comes from the naturally low cost of cooling computing facilities – Iceland is a chilly place, year around – and the stable electricity price make any scale of HPC a viable proposition for most technology-forward HPC users.

Borealis DC’s three facilities offer a range of services, including co-lo, but the company’s specialization is HPC. Single racks can host up to +50kWh of high-end compute, or for those with greater and growing needs, there are bespoke options that are scalable via Rescale technologies. The company partners with Responsible Compute to provide HPCaaS too. The latter, in particular, makes PoC deployments much more viable and helps companies turbo-boost their R&D and data science functions.

Whether it’s the increasing importance of an ESG strategy that concerns you, or the need to source high-end, coast efficient AI (Artificial Intelligence) hosting, Borealis Data Center should most definitely be among your shortlist of considered solutions, if not its only entry. The company is always ready to discuss your specific needs in more detail and give you all the details for long-term pricing options. Simply reach out here, and a representative from the company will get right back to you. And don’t forget to follow the northern lights of Borealis Data Center on LinkedIn right here.