Submer’s data centre in a box accelerates time to market with integrated solution

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Two of the most pressing challenges for data centres are reducing the time to market and the availability of water. For operators, an extended time to market means that there is an increased risk of competitors gaining a first at site advantage. To thrive in this fast-moving demand market, securing strategic locations and the ability to meet customer requirement in weeks rather than months can be a game-changer. One strategy to improve speed is the growing trend of modular data centres.

To meet this need Submer has launched its latest solution, the MegaPod. The MegaPod is the company’s latest step in its journey to revolutionise the data centre industry and help it to become more efficient and more sustainable. “We believe that MegaPod delivers a future-proof and sustainable data centre facility anywhere on the globe in weeks instead of months or years,” Daniel Pope, CEO at Submer said.

New operating models

Data centres are rethinking the way they operate. As technologies like Blockchain, AI and the gaming industry continue to experience growth and their importance within the everyday economy increases, data centres are under pressure to improve their power capacity and performance from customers while simultaneously reducing their impact on the environment to adhere to new policy requirements. Traditionally, adopting more sustainable technologies can mean sacrificing power, speed, and performance. However, this is not the case when immersion cooling is adopted.

Immersion cooling is the practice of submerging computer components (or full servers) in a thermally, but not electrically, conductive liquid (dielectric coolant). Immersion cooling offers data centres the ability to keep up with the increasing demand for higher power density along with many other advantages such as: a reduction in CO2 levels, power usage and better total cost of ownership (TCO). Additionally, immersion cooling offers protection from the surrounding environment which could damage the hardware.

“Launching a product like the MegaPod is the next logical step for Submer,” Pope added. “There has been great demand for our integrated solutions, thanks to their ease of deployment and unprecedented TCO benefits. Additionally, the MegaPod streamlines the supply chain to deploy immersion cooling, which can sometimes, like with traditional data centre builds, act as a barrier for customers. It is the perfect solution for those companies wishing to easily expand their edge capabilities, while also improving their efficiency and sustainability. When needed, thanks to our partners, Submer is now able to deliver a full modular data centre all the way down to the actual compute and software.

“From concept to implementation, the design of the MegaPod has been a smooth ride thanks to the solid foundation provided by the SmartPodX platform as the main building block. It’s exciting to see our product continuously develop to meet the needs of the industry and really make an impact with our technology.”

Address industry’s pain points

The MegaPod has been purpose built to address the specific pain points faced by the industry. The solution incorporates Submer’s immersion cooling technology, with a compact, modular, prefabricated data centre in a box configuration that allows for fast deployment in any location and simplified commissioning with an unparalleled energy footprint. I simplifies site selection by including completely dry-cooled (zero water requirement) options.

The solution, which is aiming for tier-ready certification from the Uptime Institute, will include Submer’s SmartPodXL and SmartPodXL+ technology, allowing for up to 800 kW of compute power in a 40 foot modular footprint, even including dry-cooler and critical power modules. The company will also offer customers the opportunity to purchase the MegaPod as a full turnkey solution through multiple recognised modular data centre partners, enabling customers to have a fully operational data centre in less than 16 weeks.

Tier-ready solutions

There are two major trends that make this solution particularly compelling. First, it can facilitate edge data centres that are closer to city centres that are more than 20 times smaller that can deliver recovered heat to the municipality or neighbouring industries. Secondly, for data centres in extremely remote and harsh environments where water availability is a challenge. “Immersion cooling enables high amounts of compute in small and awkward locations that have never been considered in the past for data centres,” Pope added.

Pope explained that the biggest challenge they had to overcome was to ensure that the system designed would be tier-ready to deliver the resiliency that customers expect, especially at the edge.  “The industry recognises that tier certification is incredibly valuable in ensuring reliable design and we believe that it helps mitigate the idea that immersion cooling might entail more risk and less reliability,” he said. “Immersion cooling enables for the first time, data centres that can run off dry cooling infrastructure (no water evaporation or sewage discharge) and opens the door to greater than 95 per cent energy capture in the form of warm fluid in ranges of greater than 50oC. This is a game-changer for energy re-use and could potentially shift the paradigm of site selection for data centres towards monetisation of energy.

“As we work towards immersion optimised systems and hardware, we envision fluid temperatures above the 70oC range that will accelerate data centre site selection based on heat monetisation. All TCO and PUE models today can be thrown down the drain if 95 per cent of data centre heat can be captured in 70oC fluid and monetised. Major utility companies have this on their radar and are building district heating networks to support the model.”

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