DCK Must Know: Top Data Center News This Week – July 16, 2021

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Welcome to the week’s roundup of all the hottest news in the data center industry, curated and summarized by Data Center Knowledge.

This week, Microsoft pledged to solve the problem of 24/7 zero carbon energy for data centers, Xilinx unveiled an accelerator that would put the processor in the background, Digital Realty announced its entry into India, and we looked at the implications of REvil’s ransomware attack on Kaseya for the increasingly MSP-dependent IT industry.

Microsoft commits to operating zero carbon data centers

Microsoft has made a bold new climate pledge, committing to power its offices and data centers around the world with 24/7 zero carbon energy by 2030.

This is the biggest and most difficult problem faced by data center operators who want to neutralize their impact on the environment. The commitment is a recognition that simply purchasing an amount of renewable energy equal to total consumption – the predominant way in which businesses have become “carbon neutral” to date – has minimal impact on the problem of energy consumption. dirty energy production.

  • Google is also committed to fixing this problem by 2030.
  • Solving it will require the addition of many new carbon-free generations to the network, the development of technologies to match demand and supply that are not scalable today and the overhaul of the rules of the energy market in the whole world.
  • It’s more than a question of cloud providers who want to do good. Google and Microsoft are fighting over the IT budgets of corporate clients who are increasingly aware of their own impact on the climate.
  • Microsoft is starting out with technology that allows it to closely track the demand for electricity at a specific data center site – by the hour – and ensure that there is enough zero-carbon energy being generated on the site. same network to match consumption.
  • This is a different commitment from the one Microsoft made last year to eliminate all the carbon the company has emitted in its history.

Xilinx says processors may play a secondary role compared to accelerators

Xilinx, the chipmaker who invented FPGAs (reprogrammable processors), seeks to reverse the relationship between server processors and coprocessors (such as GPUs and SmartNICs). Its new Versal HBM accelerator “is a kind of self-adaptive micro-supercomputer for servers and server clusters, cramming on a single card the same number of processing cores as 14 FPGAs and the equivalent memory of 32 DDR5-6400 modules”, Scott from DCK. Fulton writes.

  • “If Xilinx is successful, Versal HBM will ‘make its accelerator platform’ the workload processor and demote the processor to some sort of perimeter security guard.
  • We’ve passed the point where we can expect a massive performance boost with each new generation of processors, Versal product manager Mike Thompson told DCK.
  • There is also a thirst for optimized, workload-specific silicon on the market.
  • This is a bold vision to express for a company soon to be part of AMD, which is riding a wave of success in the data center market with its new Epyc server processors.
  • Versal HBM targets memory bottlenecks in current architectures that slow down AI workloads today. But possible applications also include edge computing in tight spaces for low latency applications using 5G wireless or for CDNs.

REvil Kaseya Ransomware Attack Delivers Wake-Up Call

The REvil Kaseya ransomware attack has been a wake-up call for an industry that is outsourcing much of its infrastructure management to managed service providers, writes DCK’s Maria Korolov. By violating a single software vendor whose tool is widely used by MSPs, the cybergang was able to disrupt up to 1,500 businesses that depended on these MSPs with ransomware.

  • “It’s a very effective cascading event,” said Daniel Clayton, vice president of global services at Bitdefender, who has worked in the past for the intelligence services of the US and UK governments.
  • Managed service providers have combed it this year and last, thanks to the pandemic, which has caused IT departments to scramble to support their businesses’ shift to remote work.
  • The Kaseya attack demonstrated that companies need to step up security screening of their suppliers as well as their suppliers’ suppliers.

Digital Realty enters the growing Indian data center market

Digital Realty has formed another joint venture to enter a new market. This time it is entering India, which has been a notable gap in the global portfolio of the world’s second largest data center provider.

  • Its JV partner, Brookfield Infrastructure, will not only contribute half of the funding, but will also support the company with its local knowledge.
  • Brookfield Asset Management has been investing in infrastructure in India for over a decade. Its infrastructure subsidiary has approximately 140,000 operational wireless towers in the country.
  • This isn’t Digital and Brookfield’s first rodeo together. Two years ago, they formed a JV to buy out Brazilian data center operator Ascenty, giving Digital a platform to expand into Latin America.
  • India is one of the fastest growing data center markets in the world.
  • US and Chinese hyperscaler cloud platforms have recently stepped up their investments in IT infrastructure, as have international data center operators including Equinix, NTT and ST Telemedia.

Mitsui and Fidelity Seek Data Center Opportunity in Japan

There is a rush to build cloud data centers in Japan, a market underserved by digital services, and Mitsui, one of the country’s largest conglomerates, is jumping into the action. This week, he unveiled a plan to invest $ 2.7 billion in data center construction and acquisitions over the next five years, reports Nikkei Asia.

  • The Japanese government’s new enthusiasm for digital infrastructure is adding to the wind in Mitsui’s sails. The government has pledged to support data center construction projects with such things as incentives for investors and site infrastructure development.
  • Mitsui’s first step is to create a 50/50 joint venture with Fidelity Investments, whose subsidiary Colt Data Center Services will design, build and operate data centers for the JV. The conglomerate will take care of structuring, financing, land supply and marketing to Japanese customers.
  • A new fund Mitsui is creating with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board will finance half of the Japanese company’s joint venture.

Google makes it easy to select low-carbon cloud regions

Google Cloud makes the process of selecting the greenest data center to run your software as easy as the rest of the customer experience. This is one of the main reasons for the success of cloud computing.

  • The idea is to show which cloud regions on a customer’s picklist have the lowest amount of CO2 emissions associated with their operations.
  • Google has started adding the “Lowest CO2” label to regional picklists for its Cloud Run and Datastream serverless products, with the intention of rolling it out to other products over time.
  • Labeled regions get at least 75% of their electricity from carbon-free sources.
  • Since last year, Google has been aiming to power all of its data centers around the world with 24-hour carbon-free energy. This new feature is a small step towards that goal, helping to more closely align the demand for calculation with the availability of carbon-free energy.

GI launches new real estate fund for data centers and life sciences

GI Partners has launched a new investment fund focused on real estate assets for ongoing operations, such as data centers, life sciences and R&D labs. The private equity firm launched the fund, called GI Real Estate Essential Tech + Science Fund (ETS Fund) in early 2021, but only publicly announced it this week.

  • GI has appointed its Managing Director John Sheputis as the new fund manager. Sheputis is the former president of Infomart Data Centers, a role he held after Infomart merged with Fortune Data Centers, a company he founded.
  • The ETS fund has already acquired several assets on the east and west coasts of the United States, including data centers and life sciences buildings in the Bay Area and an R&D center in Philadelphia.
  • Based in San Francisco, GI is the company behind Digital Realty, today the second largest data center provider in the world.



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