May 27, 2021

Facebook adds two new data centres to Altoona campus in Iowa

Facebook
hyperscale
Cloud
construction
2 min
The social media giant is building two more data centres on its campus in Altoona, bringing the total number of buildings on the site to 10. 

 

Facebook is once again expanding its Altoona data centre campus in Iowa. The social media giant started construction on the campus back in 2013, continuing to develop the site over the past eight years. 

According to a spokesperson from Facebook, the company has invested more than $2bn into developing the campus, which broke ground on its seventh and eighth data centres in May of 2019. Over the course of its development, Facebook has contributed more than 8mn construction man hours to the Iowan economy. 

Now, Facebook is building a further two facilities at Altoona, bringing the total square footage of the campus to more than 4.1mn square feet.  

Courtesy of Altoona Data Center, Facebook Inc
Courtesy of Altoona Data Center, Facebook Inc

The development will reportedly inject a further $2mn each year into the local economy. 

Construction on the two new facilities is expected to continue through 2023, “more than a decade since we first broke ground,” according to a post by the Altoona Data Centre made on Facebook. 

In Iowa and beyond, Facebook is continuing a massive expansion of its data centre infrastructure to support its cloud capabilities. In the past 12 months alone, the company has announced new data centres (usually expansion projects attached to existing campuses, with the exception of entirely greenfield builds in Illinois and Tennessee) at multiple sites throughout the US, including some of its flagship campuses in Prineville, Oregon; Utah; Nebraska; and Georgia. 

Facebook isn’t the only cloud giant that seems to be favouring Iowa as a prime location for its data centre efforts. Apple is in the process of buying 2,000 acres of land in the city of Waukee to house a new cloud campus; Microsoft has built yet another Azure Cloud region to service its Midwestern customers, this time in Des Moines; and Google has maintained a sizable facility in the state since 2007, pouring more than $2.5bn into expanding its Council Bluffs campus over the past 14 years.

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Jun 20, 2021

Schneider Electric reveals new IT Innovation report

SchneiderElectric
datacentres
CompanyReport
DigitalEmissions
3 min
Schneider Electric has released the Digital Economy and Climate Impact report revealing new innovations for sustainability and resiliency in data centres

Schneider Electric has released a new IT innovations report titled “Digital Economy and Climate Impact”, with the aim of gaining an understanding of how digitised and smart applications will be powered in the future. The company says that the report predicts that IT sector-related electricity demand is expected to increase by almost 50% by 2030. 

Despite this, the report also shows that emissions would not increase by more than 26% by the same year, following the decarbonisation of the electricity system. In an attempt to reduce this rise in emissions the Schneider Electric TM Sustainability Research Institute recommends continued efforts in achieving efficiencies on the IT and energy sides at both the component and system levels. 

The report highlights how the rise of edge computing technologies require a “specific focus” due to these systems being less efficient than hyperscale data centres. “When the world locked down, it also logged on and internet traffic soared,” said Pankaj Sharma, EVP, Secure Power, Schneider Electric. 

“It’s misleading to assume that digital activity will inevitably result in a deeply problematic increase in CO2 emissions. The analysis from the Schneider Electric Sustainability Institute puts to rest many of the worst-case scenario claims predicting IT-related electricity use will double every five years. That said, as an industry, we must remain vigilant in finding new sources of sustainability gains while ensuring resiliency as digital keeps life moving forward”, he added. 

As well as the release of the report, Schneider Electric also announced several updates to its EcoStruxure IT data center infrastructure management software, Galaxy VL 3-phase uninterruptable power supply (UPS), introducing an industry-leading single-phase UPS, the APC™ Smart-UPS™ Ultra. All introductions are designed to advance the industry forward in meeting sustainability goals while increasing the resiliency of IT and data centre infrastructure, the company said. 

Managing hybrid data center and edge IT environments

Also showcased in Schneider Electric’s report are the increasing demands on digital consumption. According to the company, these create a more complex hybrid environment inclusive of enterprise, cloud, and edge data centres. Addressing the unique management challenges of a hybrid IT environment, Schneider Electric has announced updates to its EcoStruxure IT software to increase efficiency and resiliency, including:

  • Increased remote management capabilities: New granular remote device configuration features enable users to change configurations on one or more devices – including the new Galaxy VL and APC Smart-UPS Ultra single-phase UPS units – from one centralised platform with EcoStruxure IT Expert. This update, combined with previously released software insights on device security health, enables the user to identify faulty devices or configurations and address them in a matter of clicks, keeping their hybrid IT environment secure.
  • Improved environmental monitoring: Environmental monitoring systems ensure users have eyes and ears on data centre and IT deployments from anywhere, anytime. With this update, users can push mass configurations remotely for NetBotz cameras 750 and 755 quickly and efficiently increasing security across the critical infrastructure.
  • Enhanced remote capacity modeling and planning: With EcoStruxure IT Advisor’s new capabilities, users can remotely compare an unlimited number of racks and easily identify available capacity, view what assets are deployed and their dependencies.

Sharma concluded: “Schneider Electric has been focused on sustainability for the past 15 years and was recently named the most sustainable corporation in the world. We have embraced the mindset that future innovation will deliver better efficiency across the broader connectivity landscape. By making smart intentional choices, our industry can help mitigate how much electricity and emissions result from the rising appetite for digital technologies”.

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