Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Keppel invests $10m into floating data center startup

First commercial data centre scheduled to be operational by early 2018 with promises of transforming energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions footprint.

Data centres have been deployed pretty much everywhere on Earth. We have heard of facilities inside mountains, in churches, under the sea, in the Arctic… the list goes on.

But one startup wants to make data centres as portable as possible by making them float.

This is where California-based Nautilus Data Technologies comes in. Nautilus was the first company to successfully launch a waterborne data centre prototype in 2015 incorporating its technology on a vessel, demonstrating additional capability for large scale modularity, mobility and flexibility in data centre deployment in both developed and emerging markets.

For example, just like when emergency shelters are deployed or a city’s hotel capacity is increased by the addition of cruise ships on its shores for events like the Olympic Games, a floating data centre can be used when higher amounts of IT power are needed without the necessity to spend millions of Dollars building a concrete facility inland.

Nautilus is currently building its first commercial data centre at Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Northern California, and deployment is scheduled for early 2018.

The carrier-neutral data centre facility will feature power capacity of approximately 6MW distributed across four data vaults with redundancy for connectivity and power.

One of the project’s main selling points is its efficiency and green-friendly design.

The Nautilus design includes water-cooled data centre environments which employ less complex systems that can be deployed in half the time.

Nautilus data centres are sited on vessels or on land near large water bodies, and use the naturally chilled water to cool the facilities, recirculating the water back to its original source with virtually zero water consumption.

By eliminating the need for energy-intensive air-cooling equipment and water treatment chemicals, Nautilus claims its technology can reduce operating costs up to 30% while increasing cooling efficiency by up to 80%.

This while also reducing carbon emissions and air pollution by 30%, while using only one third the spatial footprint with up to five times the server capacity, according to the company.

Wong Wai Meng, CEO of Keppel Data Centres, said: “While meeting the digital economy’s increasing demand for critical data centre infrastructure, we continuously look at better and more efficient ways of deploying data centre resources for our customers.

“This strategic investment in Nautilus will allow Keppel Data Centres to benefit from the development of innovative and sustainable data centre technology that has great potential for broader commercial application.

“Through this investment, we can also explore opportunities for collaboration and harnessing of synergies within the Keppel Group, for example, by tapping the Group’s capabilities and experience in the offshore and marine sector for the development of floating water-cooled data centres.”

The abovementioned transaction is not expected to have a material impact on the net tangible assets or earnings per share of Keppel T&T for the current financial year.