Picture perfect environments

In the creative world your studio environment matters. It’s where you generate the ideas and develop the concepts which will wow clients and customers. The personality of a space is important – both in making sure your team is happy and in communicating what you’re about to visiting clients.

It’s worth noting that creative companies tend to be small – on average comprising only 3.3 staff members according to a recent report[1]. Studios, therefore, are typically compact. Also, creative businesses often seek out city centre premises where space might be at a premium, either due to cost or a building’s quirky architecture.

You don’t want looming banks of computers dominating a studio – not when the area could better be used for a football table, Eames lounger, bike rack or whichever other creative office cliché takes your fancy.

Likewise, noisy cooling systems can be very disruptive. The sound of a studio should be the excited chatter of exchanging ideas, and the click of keys and mouse to the background accompaniment of BBC 6Music – not the relentless drone of air con fans.

Iceotope enables deskside rendering workloads for ultimate productivity in the creative working environments.  Not only whisper-quiet but very compact too, high performance rendering addresses the space challenges of the creative industries. Made possible by patented liquid cooling technology, Iceotope has developed innovative rack-based and workstation level systems to deliver enhanced power without the footprint required by conventional fan systems.

Find out more about Iceotope Technology

 

 

[1] 2016 The Geography of Creativity report, Nesta - http://www.nesta.org.uk/sites/default/files/the_geography_of_creativity_in_the_uk.pdf

5 Valid Concerns about Liquid Cooling Technology (which are soon to be history)

Traditionally, when building a new data centre, roughly 35% of capital expenditure would be spent on cooling equipment, which accounts for 50% of the ongoing running costs.

New, more powerful processors put higher demands on traditional cooling technology and legacy equipment won’t cut it in a world of increasing heat loads with CPU’s in excess of 200W and GPU’s of 300W. Add to this the fact that new technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) are driving demand for more and larger data centres, along with substantial investment at the Edge of Network, it’s clear that cost effective and efficient cooling technology is needed.

Most agree that liquid cooling is the answer but until now it has been regarded as a niche technology, with many compromises, that can’t meet the demands of a modern data centre.

Iceotope has developed a versatile technology that answers the historical concerns around liquid cooling and is ready to redefine the data centre cooling landscape.

Concern 1: Expense

Thanks to Iceotope’s total immersion cooling technology, expenses such as chillers, computer room air handling (CRAH) equipment, raised floors or ducting are no longer necessary but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when looking into how liquid cooling can lower data centre costs:

  • Double-digit capex savings – Iceotope’s technology requires next-to-no additional infrastructure leading to significant capex reductions for data centres.
  •  Significant floor space reduction – using anywhere between 50% - 75% less floor space, savings for customers are substantial. This leads this need to defer or obviate major capex in extending or building new data centre space.  
  •  Full integration – Iceotope can retrofit their servers into any existing rack meaning you can get immediate opex benefits without having to redesign your entire data centre, alter your supply chain or retrain your staff.
  • Consumes less energy – without the need for power-hungry computer room air handling equipment and zero fans inside the servers, Iceotope’s technology can reduce energy bills by up to 80%. Iceotope also allows the recapture and reuse of waste heat leading to an improved corporate risk and social responsibility strategy.

Concern 2: Complexity

There is a clear need to ensure your risk is managed but when you consider the exponential growth in big data and cloud computing, data centres need to adapt in order to deliver great customer service and profitability. Traditional data centre cooling equipment cannot cope with ever-increasing heat loads that new processors and apps demand. Sticking with the legacy approaches will only lead to larger footprints and increasing cost and complexity, with no competitive benefit.

Liquid cooling is essential in preventing this trend from continuing. It allows systems to be deployed with greater densities, faster speeds and more flexibility. Immersion cooling alone saves up to 75% of the floor space, simplifying data centre infrastructure.

Additionally, unlike previous types of liquid cooling, Iceotope’s specially engineered coolants are sealed and produce no residue or slip hazards within the data centre and is therefore cleaner and safer when servicing. With a similar architecture to air cooling, access to parts are straightforward with no specialist tools required. Servers are also hot swappable, allowing data centres to replace or add components with minimal disruption.

Concern 3: Proprietary technology

Previous iterations of liquid technology sacrifice flexibility in return for greater efficiency. Thanks to Iceotope; liquid cooling has moved into the mainstream and such compromises will no longer be necessary.

  • Simplified infrastructure for any data centre – removing infrastructure such as chillers; raised floors or ducting; and smaller UPS and PDU’s. Not only does this allow you to fit more IT within the same space, but you can integrate within existing infrastructure if required.
  • Accommodates any brand of IT – as liquid cooling technology has proven its potential, IT vendors are open to hardware being immersed in specially engineered coolants, without voiding warranty.

Concern 4: Save valuable resource, don’t waste it

Both energy and water are in huge demand by the world’s expanding and developing population.

Around 2.8 billion people live in areas with high water scarcity and 2.5 billion have no or unreliable access to electricity. So when we consider that in 2040 there will be a 50% increase in electricity consumption and around 40 billion connected devices, our digital future must conserve our water and energy supply.

Traditional data centre infrastructure such as evaporative methods and cooling towers are recognised as a huge contributor to water consumption. Around 800 data centres in California consume enough water to fill 158,000 Olympic swimming pools per annum!

So importantly, our immersion liquid cooling technology uses clean, safe, dependable, engineered coolant to cool down electronics – not water resource.

Iceotope uses a two-stage cooling process – the first stage being a specially engineered liquid to cool all components with the second stage transferring the heat away using a coolant loop. Not only do the coolants demand zero water consumption, they last between 15-20 years and are fully recyclable – all contributing to an excellent water usage effectiveness (WUE) metric.

When we consider that Iceotope’s liquid cooling saves up to 80% energy consumption, and you can reuse the waste heat for district heating, liquid cooled data centres become a sustainably smart business model.

Concern 5: Safety

Conventional wisdom states that liquid and electronics do not mix well – this has long been a barrier to widespread adoption of liquid cooling technology.

Iceotope has developed a liquid cooling technology that revolves around a coolant that is completely safe to use around electronics. The coolant is non-flammable, has no flash-point and is the only liquid coolant to meet Factory Mutual (FM) Standard 6930 meaning it is fully insurable, unlike other cooling methods.

The coolant is hermetically sealed inside the server so, thanks to the lack of air intakes, the components inside are protected from dust and dirt leading to longer product lifecycles and zero failure. 

Conclusion

As demonstrated throughout this article, there are legitimate concerns around liquid cooling, which our new technology and innovation are countering.

We have seen a confidence shift in liquid cooling technology from data centres and businesses who need flexible and scalable servers to keep up with increasing digital demand, cloud computing and big data.

Ultimately the future of IT, application development and, importantly, your competitive advantage will be forever changed by our technology.

Liquid cooling is the new mainstream, and it is the future of IT.

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EU invests big in EuroEXA for European Exa-Scale supercomputers

September 6th, 2017, Barcelona, Spain

Today, 16 organisations met at the Barcelona Supercomputer Centre to mark the start of the EuroEXA project and the commencement of the execution in the next stage of EU investment towards realising Exa-Scale computing in Europe.

Barcelona DC.jpg

The growing importance of HPC technology was recently reinforced with ministers from nine European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Belgium and Slovenia) signing a declaration to support the next generation of computing and data infrastructures, a European project of the size of Airbus in the 1990s and of Galileo in the 2000s. The aim is to deploy the integrated world-class high-performance computing infrastructure capable of a billion, billion calculations per second, known as an Exa-Scale system. This will be available across the EU for scientific communities, industry and the public sector, no matter where the users are located.

EuroEXA is a program that represents a significant EU investment to innovate across a new ground-breaking platform for computing in its support to deliver Exa-Scale computing. Originally the informal name for a group of H2020 research projects, ExaNeSt, EcoScale and ExaNoDe, EuroEXA today announces an EU investment in European excellence to further develop these technologies in its bid to deliver EU based supercomputers.

This €20m investment over a 42-month period is part of a total €50m investment made by the EC across the EuroEXA group of projects supporting research, innovation and action across applications, system software, hardware, networking, storage, liquid cooling and data centre technologies. Together bringing the technologies required to enable the digital economy, the future of computers, and the drive towards Exa-Scale capability.

Funded under H2020-EU.1.2.2. FET Proactive (FETHPC-2016-01) as a result of a competitive selection process, the consortium partners bring a rich mix of key applications from across climate/weather, physics/energy and life-science/bioinformatics. The project objectives include to develop and deploy an ARM Cortex technology processing system with Xilinx Ultrascale+ FPGA acceleration at peta-flop level by 2020, it is hoped that this will enable an Exa-Scale procurement for deployment in 2022/23.

John Goodacre, Professor of Computer Architectures at the University of Manchester said “To deliver the demands of next generation computing and Exa-Scale HPC, it is not possible to simply optimise the components of the existing platform.  In EuroEXA, we have taken a holistic approach to break-down the inefficiencies of the historic abstractions and bring significant innovation and co-design across the entire computing stack.”

Peter Hopton, Founder of Iceotope and Dissemination Lead for EuroEXA said “This is a world class program that aims to increase EU computing capabilities by 100 times, the EuroEXA project is truly an exceptional collection of EU engineering excellence in this field. We have all set our ultimate goal – to enable the power-efficient delivery of the world’s biggest supercomputer”

As part of the H2020 competitive process, the 16 organisations of EuroEXA have been selected for their technologies and capabilities from across 8 Countries: ARM - UK, ICCS (Institute Of Communication And Computer Systems) - Greece, The University Of Manchester - UK, BSC (Barcelona Supercomputing Center) - Spain, FORTH (Foundation For Research And Technology Hellas) - Greece, The Hartree Centre of STFC - UK, IMEC - Belgium, ZeroPoint Technologies - Sweden, Iceotope - UK, Synelixis Solutions Ltd - , Maxeler Technologies – Greece, Neurasmus - Netherlands, INFN (Istituto Nazionale Di Fisica Nucleare) - Italy, INAF (Istituto Nazionale Di Astrofisica) - Italy, ECMWF (European Centre For Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) - International, And Fraunhofer - Germany

http://euroexa.eu

ICEOTOPE doing Tough Mudder: 12 miles of mud and extreme obstacles!

ICEOTOPE doing Tough Mudder: 12 miles of mud and extreme obstacles!

A team of five people at ICEOTOPE have accepted the challenge of Tough Mudder, Yorkshire 2017. A challenging 12-mile mud and obstacle course designed to drag you out of your comfort zone.

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