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Satnews Daily
July 16th, 2019

Goonhilly's New Data Center ... Goes Green HPC Platform for AI and ML Compute on Demand

An announcement from Goonhilly Earth Station in Cornwall, UK, reveals a new data center, and they are addressing the eco concern by launching a managed green HPC platform for AI and ML compute on demand. 

Goonhilly is one of the first organizations in the UK to deploy a liquid immersion cooling system from Submer to mitigate the power demands of high performance computing (HPC). Their green platform is designed to meet the data-intensive needs of the automotive, life sciences and space/aerospace marketplaces, and its onsite array of solar panels can support the data center’s full power requirements of 500KW and local wind power will be added shortly.

Goonhilly’s goal is to create a UK hub for AI and ML services that acts as a marketplace and allows academia and enterprise to collaborate and share ideas. The new managed platform delivers high performance GPU-based compute and storage for decentralised and centralised AI and machine learning applications to meet the data-intensive needs of the automotive, life sciences and space/aerospace marketplaces.  By provisioning both compute and AI and machine learning resources on demand, customers can reduce the cost of deployment and accelerate time to market.

Further extending its AI capabilities, Goonhilly has joined the NVIDIA Inception program for businesses that are transforming industries through advancements in AI and data sciences. Goonhilly will use the NVIDIA DGX-1, the world’s first supercomputer purpose-built for enterprise AI and deep learning.

Because Goonhilly’s tier 3/4 data center sits at the junction of global subsea cables, satellite feeds and fiber, customers can analyze data at the edge, eliminating the cost of a leased line to send huge data volumes back to London, or farther, for processing. 

Existing satellite customers are also expected to use the data center. Previously, the data transmitted was solely small packets of communications signals but today’s satellites are used for applications including 8K real-time imaging, which use petabytes of data. By analyzing the data at the edge, a much smaller packet can then be cost-effectively distributed.

To mark the data center opening and as part of its celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, Goonhilly is hosting an event on-site on Thursday, July 18th, 2019 for space industry partners, academia, customers and prospects. It includes a panel discussion on trends in AI, cloud and edge computing. 

Peter Ruffley, Zizo’s Chairman, commented that Zizo is one of the first data center customers, having chosen to host its big data analytics as a service at Goonhilly. When looking at data centers to host their cloud-based service, only Goonhilly could address their critical issues such as availability, resilience and affordability but also offer the value-add of green energy and immersive cooling. Customers are increasingly asking questions about the carbon footprint of compute power, which makes Goonhilly a great choice.

Chris Roberts, Head of Data center and Cloud at Goonhilly added that there are people working on some clever algorithms to save the planet from climate change. The irony is that these models require heavy processing power. Fortunately new technology is helping, such as immersion cooling which is 45-50 percent more efficient than air cooling, cuts electricity demand in half, and also allows us to use the exhaust heat elsewhere.

Ian Jones, CEO of Goonhilly concluded that through their strong partnerships with industry and academia they pride themselves on being at the forefront of innovation. Our new green data center is no exception. It is satisfying to open their doors to the many businesses and organizations with data-intensive applications who can benefit from this facility and the community they are creating.