Intelligent CIO APAC Issue 25 - Page 62

CASE STUDY
Firmus , located in Tasmania , Australia

Cloud data centers are some of the most egregious offenders when it comes to emissions and environmental impact . With demand for cloud computing rising exponentially , overcoming climate challenges requires a fundamental change in data center technology – and Firmus has the answer .

Built around a uniquely efficient immersion cooling system , powered by majority renewable energy and leveraging open-source solutions , Firmus ’ Supercloud sets a new precedent for sustainable public clouds .
Challenge
The rise of cloud has led to transformations in computing , business and even our daily lives . Reduced costs , improved agility and enhanced security are just a handful of the benefits that cloud offers , so it is no surprise that demand for the technology is growing every day . However , the price of progress is environmental impact .
Data centers are responsible for a staggering 2 % of global greenhouse gas emissions and that number is rising . This is largely due to the inefficiency of traditional data center designs .
The worldwide average for data center energy efficiency is 1.59 power usage effectiveness ( PUE ). 1 . This means that for every megawatt that is spent powering computers , the data center requires an additional 590 kilowatts to run ancillary building support systems – mostly cooling – that needs to remove the vast amount of heat that the computing IT load generates .
This value has been stagnant for some time , resulting in inefficient data centers that are costly to operate , costly to access and costly to the planet .
This is the challenge that Firmus is working to solve . Initially , the company set out to develop a more sustainable approach to mining bitcoin – one of the most power-intensive computing workloads in the world .
The project led to the inception of an innovative new immersion cooling solution : submerging servers in a bath of non-conductive , biodegradable fluid that is approximately 1,000 times more effective at wicking away heat than air .
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