HARDWARE UPDATE

Houston data center upgrades facility with sustainability in mind

DUG Technology announced it's increased the company’s high performance computing capabilities and also reinforced its commitment to sustainable innovative technology. Photo courtesy of DUG

An Australia-based company has launched a major upgrade of its Houston data center. With the changes, the facility had optimized sustainability.

DUG Technology announced it's increased the company’s high performance computing (HPC) capabilities and also reinforced its commitment to sustainable innovative technology. The company announced its latest investment in 1500 new AMD EPYCTM Genoa servers, which has 192 cores and 1.5 terabytes of DDR5 memory each. Quebec-based IT solution company Hypertec provided the immersion-born hardware.

“DUG’s decision highlights the unmatched technological advancements and superior performance of Hypertec immersion-born products, which are setting a new benchmark in the industry,” Hypertec’s Patrick Scateni, vice president of global sales says in a news release.

Recently, DUG deployed 600 new Intel Xeon CPU Max Series machines, which are equipped with 128 cores and one terabyte of RAM. All of their existing servers had a RAM upgrade to 384 gigabytes. The hardware upgrades more than “double the effective horsepower of DUG’s Houston data center,” according to the company.

DUG initially started construction on Bubba in 2018, and chose Skybox Datacenters as the facility to put Bubba in after a global search. The supercomputer landing in Houston represented the largest data center transaction in the Houston area's history with Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, and San Antonio having previously overshadowed Houston as hotspots for data center activity in the state.

“Houston was a natural choice," DUG’s Managing Director Matthew Lamont previously told InnovationMap. “Given the low cost of power and the fact that Skybox had the available infrastructure ready to go."

DUG’s Houston facility was the DCD Awards winner of the 2019 Enterprise Data Centre Design Award. The upgrade of DUG’s Houston-based supercomputer Bubba was opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony by the Hon Stephen Dawson MLA, Minister for Emergency Services; Innovation and the Digital Economy; Science; Medical Research, during his “Western Australia: USA Connect” mission to the United States.

Also present for the announcement was Christopher Skeete, Minister for the Economy in the National Assembly of Québec. DUG joined the Western Australia (WA) trade delegation to Texas, led by Minister Dawson. The trade delegation looks to establish strategic connections through investment and trade with WA with a focus on the energy transition and green technology.

"It is very exciting to see our HPC capabilities scale in response to the increasing demand for our technology,” Lamont says in the release. “The new hardware was purchased after extensive testing and our partners were chosen based on the unparalleled performance of their solutions. The Intel machines are already turbocharging our new MP-FWI Imaging technology, which is having a transformative impact on the way we process seismic data.

"Delivering unsurpassed imaging with rapid turnaround for our clients, it is a complete replacement for the conventional processing and imaging workflow," he continued. "The new Hypertec-supplied AMD machines are needed to accelerate delivery of both current and imminent projects, and to support the unprecedented demand we continue to see moving forward.”

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This article originally ran on InnovationMap.

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A View From HETI

The combined technology portfolios will accelerate the introduction of promising early-stage decarbonization technology. Photo via Getty Images

SLB announced its plans to combine its carbon capture business with Norway company, Aker Carbon Capture.

Upon completion of the transaction, which is expected to close by the end of the second quarter of this year, SLB will own 80 percent of the combined business and ACC will own 20 percent.

According to a SLB news release, the combined technology portfolios will accelerate the introduction of promising early-stage decarbonization technology.

“For CCUS to have the expected impact on supporting global net-zero ambitions, it will need to scale up 100-200 times in less than three decades,” Olivier Le Peuch, CEO of SLB, says in the release. “Crucial to this scale-up is the ability to lower capture costs, which often represent as much as 50-70% of the total spend of a CCUS project.

The International Energy Agency estimates that over one gigaton of CO2 every year year will need to be captured by 2030 — a figure that scales up to over six gigatons by 2050.

"We are excited to create this business with ACC to accelerate the deployment of carbon capture technologies that will shift the economics of carbon capture across high-emitting industrial sectors,” Le Peuch continues.

SLB is slated to pay NOK 4.12 billion — around $379.4 million — to own 80 percent of Aker Carbon Capture Holding AS, which owns ACC, per the news release, and SLB may also pay up to NOK 1.36 billion over the next three years, depending on business performance.

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