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Alces Flight, EcoDataCenter Pitch Sustainable Super Computing Clouds for Private Research

May 23, 2023 by Joe Panettieri

Alces Flight and EcoDataCenter are partnering to provide customers with" best-of-breed managed services and sustainable computing for their private research clouds," the two companies said.

Alces Flight, founded in 2016, is based in Oxfordshire, England. The company had 16 employees listed on LinkedIn as of May 23, 2023. Alces Flight designs, builds and supports HPC (high performance computing) environments. The company also offers HPC managed services to ensure customers' cloud clusters are optimized for cost and performance.

Sustainable Data Center Partnership: Business Backgrounds

EcoDataCenter, founded in 2014, is based in Falun, Sweden. The company had 38 employees listed on LinkedIn as of May 23, 2023.

  • One of the company's data centers -- known as EcoDataCenter 1 -- is the only data center in the world constructed entirely out of wood, the firm asserts. It is built by a local workforce and reuses heat generated from the data center to produce wooden pellets.
  • A second data center -- known as EcoDataCenter 2 -- is located in the municipality of Östersund, Sweden. That local energy grid carries only renewable energy at a very low cost powered by the local power company Jämtkraft. The design will create 800 to 1,000 jobs and use renewable energy to increase food self-sufficiency in a region where the cold climate makes food production difficult, EcoDataCenter said. Key partners include Wa3rm, a circular economy food production specialist.

The partnership will tap in to Alces Flight's Private Research Cloud platform, which can be configured for bare metal, virtualized or containerized workflows, and is supported by high performance storage and networking infrastructure, the companies said.

Target customers include organizations that might want to migrate traditional HPC or data analytics workloads (such as machine and deep learning) to a remote site that boasts minimal environmental impact, the companies said.

Sustainable Data Center Partnership: Executive Perspectives

Michael Rudgyard, CEO, Alces Flight

In a prepared statement, Alces Flight CEO Michael Rudgyard said: "Alces is committed to reducing the environmental impact, overall cost, and procurement cycle for its clients. It's no secret that a supercomputer consumes a lot of energy and is expensive to run, and as a result, the community is looking for better, more effective and less carbon-intensive ways to do their computing. Our partnership with EcoDataCenter will allow existing and future customers to be confident that they are achieving these goals."

Rudgyard continued: "We are providing the PoC cloud environment so that new users can immediately jump in and test their batch, interactive and GPU workloads. Once technical issues are proven, customers can stop worrying about their legacy, on-premise power and cooling issues and benefit from committed, low-cost energy pricing and a considerable reduction in their carbon footprint. We are delighted to be partnering with EcoDataCenter to help empower the green supercomputing revolution, while also helping to reduce cost and risk for customers."

Dan Andersson, CEO, EcoDataCenter

Concluded EcoDataCenter CEO Dan Andersson: "We are pleased to partner with Alces Flight to offer end-to-end managed services for HPCA. At EcoDataCenter, we are focused on ensuring that our datacenter solutions can minimize the carbon impact of research computing. As well as using 100% renewable energy from wind and hydroelectricity, our site captures waste heat to produce pellets that store energy. Our datacenter is also physically constructed using sustainable building materials from local forests. In partnership with Alces Flight, we can offer cost-effective and highly flexible solutions for the research computing community, but can also be proud in helping this community meet the ultimate goal of Net Zero Emissions."

Sustainable Data Centers: Market Growth, Forecast and Milestones

Demand for sustainable data centers appears strong. Indeed, global spending on green data centers is expected to reach $267 billion by 2032, which represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.2% from 2021, according to Persistence Market Research.

With that growth opportunity in mind, numerous data center providers worldwide are pursing net zero and sustainable energy strategies.

Cloud-scale players such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure each have made major sustainability commitments.

Regional data center providers are also making moves. A few examples:

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