Nautilus launches 7MW floating data centre in Stockton
Data centres took to the seas earlier this week with the launch of a new facility in California. Nautilus Data Technologies, the company behind the launch, has spun up a 7 MW data centre on a barge in the Port of Stockton.
Nautilus believes the project will serve as a proof of concept for the potential of water-borne data centres to solve a number of issues facing the industry, like real-estate shortages (and costs), cooling and water conservation.
“The rapidly growing data center sector is just as rapidly on the way to becoming utterly unsustainable,” said James Connaughton, CEO of Nautilus.
According to Connaughton, “Nautilus can reverse that” process. The company’s goal is to make the data centre sector “higher-performing, dramatically more sustainable, and more rapidly and equitably able to serve communities, government, and businesses globally.”
One of the main sustainability benefits that Nautilus’ design offers is ready access to water for use in cooling its 10,000 square foot data centre’s server racks, which Nautilus adds have been built to a density of 100 kW per rack, and operate at a PUE of 1.15 (well below the industry average.
By drawing water from the ocean on which it floats, Nautilus’ facility supposedly delivers “zero-impact cooling”, something that the industry as a whole, and specifically operators in drought-stricken California, should find appealing.
It’s estimated that traditional evaporative air-cooling annually consumes up to 8mn gallons of water per MW of energy needed to run the facility. Silicon Valley - just a few miles from the Port of Stockton - is home to approximately 411 MW of hyperscale data centre capacity. The region’s impact on the local water table is considerable, and finding ways to reduce, or even remove said impact would be a huge development for the world capital of tech.
Additionally, Nautilus’ data centre supposedly “operates at the highest level of energy efficiency, with no water consumption, no refrigerants, no water treatment chemicals, no wastewater, and no harm to wildlife.” As a result, the Stockton 1 data centre is 70% more efficient, cutting net power consumption by 30%, which cuts costs in turn.
“I’m very pleased that Nautilus has recognized the untapped potential and resources in our region and that they chose the Port of Stockton for the site of its new data center,” said Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09). “Nautilus’ sustainable digital infrastructure is yet another example of the innovation taking place right here in Stockton, and I hope more companies will see the benefits of investing in our community and region.”
Connaughton added: “We want to make this technology as widely available as possible to sustainably as possible help close the digital divide and enhance the lives of people around the world.”
NKG1 opens BDx Nanjing data centre campus
Big Data Exchange (BDx), a pan-Asian data centre company has launched its Nanjing data centre campus in China with the opening of its first facility, NKG1. The company said they “celebrated” the launch of the campus, located in the Yangtze River Delta, one of the nation's richest regions and its largest import and export base.
Following its certificate of completion from the Urban and Rural Construction Bureau of Jiangning District in Nanjing City, the NKG1 campus is “now serving customers”. Construction on the Nanjing campus began in February last year.
"We worked through the challenges of completing a major construction project during the peak of the pandemic because customers were anticipating this launch to support an unprecedented surge of growth and capacity requirements”, said Bill Gao, EVP & Chief Executive Officer of BDx Greater China.
"The launch of NKG1 enables BDx to have new world-class data centre infrastructure in China. It also lays a solid foundation for BDx to provide OTTs, financial services institutions, and Fortune 500 MNC customers with high reliability, high redundancy, and low latency solutions”, he added.
What does the NKG1 data centre include?
According to BDx, the NKG1 facility is the first data centre in the city to earn the Uptime Institute Tier III Certification of Design Documents and offers 4MW of IT power for colocation. NKG1 is powered by two separate 10-kilovolt feeders from two substations that aim to provide the NKG campus with 60MVA of total power sanctioned from the grid.
During COVID-19, BDx says that its design and construction team focused on safety to ensure that the project was completed safely and without incident. This enabled the company to add critical capacity to this region and respond to the accelerated shift to digital environments that caused a surge in demand for data center services. “Research shows that demand hasn't dropped as the economy reopens”, BDx said.
The launch of NKG2
Due to rising demand in China’s data centre market, BDx plans to launch the second phase of its Nanjing campus, NKG2, by the end of this year. “NKG2 is designed to be minimally manned and almost lights-out — a reigning philosophy across BDx's data center cluster. In addition, its highly automated features make for a more sustainable data center environment”, the company said.