Google data centres to use ‘carbon-intelligent computing’
U.S. tech giant Google has announced it is to start using ‘carbon-intelligent computing’ in its data centres to allow to move compute tasks and data such as YouTube videos and photos between facilities with more green power. The software is due to be implemented this year and aims to move workloads from centre to centre using renewable energy.
What is carbon-intelligent computing?
Developed in 2020, Google’s carbon-intelligent computing platform enables the company to move the workloads within the facilities to match their energy use to the green power available. According to the company, this was the “foundation” to allow them to move compute capacity to greener data centres.
Looking to the future of the platform, Ross Koningstein, co-founder of Google’s Carbon-Intelligent Computing project, said in a blog post: “By 2030, we plan to completely decarbonize our electricity use for every hour of every day. One way we can do this is by adjusting our operations in real-time so that we get the most out of the clean energy that’s already available.
“And that’s exactly what our newest milestone in carbon-intelligent computing does: Google can now shift moveable compute tasks between different data centres, based on regional hourly carbon-free energy availability”, he added. Regional carbon-free energy relies on both solar and wind sources in order to be effective. Google claims that carbon-intelligent computing makes predictions a day in advance of a grid using carbon-intensive energy to shift computing across the globe, and selects region destinations based on where carbon-free electricity is at its highest.
Shifting compute tasks from one facility to another
Explaining the shifting of compute tasks, Ross Koningstein said: “Shifting compute tasks across location is a logical progression of our first step in carbon-aware computing, which was to shift compute across time. By enabling our data centres to shift flexible tasks to different times of the day, we were able to use more electricity when carbon-free energy sources like solar and wind are plentiful”.
Google hopes to apply its carbon-intelligent computing to media processing, which enciphers, analyses and processes millions of multimedia files such as Google Drive, Google photos, YouTube videos. The platform aims to complete these tasks using hourly compute capacity on the “cleanest grids” available worldwide. The company’s cloud developers, as well as customers, can also prioritise their grid, putting the cleaner ones first and are able to maximise the amount of energy powering their apps by selecting regions with enhanced carbon-free energy scores, Google claims.
Google is one of the largest companies in the public cloud computing market, and together with Microsoft and Amazon, accounts for over 50% of the largest data centres across the globe. The increased spending on data centres has been partly influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft and Google reach US$37bn in the third quarter of last year.
GTR and SEGRO agree first UK data centre facility
SEGRO, a property investment and development company, has announced it has come to an agreement with the European data centre platform, Global Technical Realty (GTR) to construct its first UK-based data centre. SEGRO claims that the facility, which will span a total area of 400,711 sq ft, will be located in Slough and is to become “the largest data centre campus in the UK’s premier data centre and communications hub”.
What will SEGRO’s data centre facility be used for?
Supported by the global investment firm KKR, Global Technical Realty says it will be using the facility’s space on a 25-year term to operate bespoke data centres for high-growth global technology companies. The new facility aims to support the growing demand for third-party data centre provision amid ever-increasing growth in data usage and cloud services adoption.
Franek Sodzawiczny, CEO & Founder of GTR, said: “We are excited to be back in the UK alongside our partner KKR and look forward to working closely with SEGRO to deliver this state-of-the-art data centre campus. The data centre space is a fast-moving one. GTR was established to support its customers in providing a data centre solution wherever in the world there is a demand for it. We are delighted that the UK will become home to our flagship concept”.
James Craddock, Managing Director, Thames Valley at SEGRO, said: “We’re pleased to welcome GTR as the latest data centre operator to our thriving estate and our team of experts look forward to developing a stunning new facility for them and their customers. “Homeworking, data streaming, e-commerce and businesses’ reliance on cloud services have all grown during the pandemic, meaning demand for data centres is unabated.
“Slough Trading Estate is home to Europe’s largest data centre cluster and data centres are increasingly regarded as part of our key national infrastructure given the critical role they play in our daily lives”, he added.
The facility is expected to be delivered in two phases with operations beginning by Q4 of next year. The first phase plans to provide 132,575 sq ft of space phase two will create 268,136 sq ft of space. “Vacant possession of the site delivered to the customer by early 2022”, SEGRO said.
The project is also expected to create around 200 jobs during its construction, and a further 80 permanent roles once completed.