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June 20, 2013

Datapipe Launches Green HPC Cloud Node

Managed services and infrastructure provider Datapipe has launched its greenest and most high performance solution yet – in Iceland. In partnership with Verne Global, Datapipe is offering carbon-neutral managed IT solutions, including an HPC cloud, based on the company's Stratosphere platform.

Datapipe's newest datacenter is part of Verne Global's 45-acre campus in Keflavik, Iceland. The facility is powered with 100 percent renewable hydroelectric and geo-thermal energy from Iceland's grid and also relies on Iceland's ambient temperatures to provide free cooling every day of the year. Verne Global's campus is located in a 600 MW industrial development zone and the datacenter operator has been allocated 120 MW of that power.

Datapipe's Stratosphere elastic cloud platform is billed as the most widely-deployed Apache CloudStack environment on the market today. The API-driven platform employs 100 percent SSD storage ensuring guaranteed IOPS without the noisy neighbor problems of typical shared storage platforms. Stratosphere supports both public and private clouds, and enables up to 32 physical core equivalents per instance, a half terabyte (TB) of RAM, and tens of thousands of IOPS per volume in a 10GE network.

Datapipe is showcasing the Iceland site as a high-performance cloud computing node. "In Iceland we have denser CPU and memory underlying the infrastructure," observes Ed Laczynski, Senior Vice President, Cloud Strategy & Architecture at Datapipe. "Customers can run bigger and more CPU-intensive applications. And they can leverage our 100 percent SSD, low-latency, high-IO storage back-end."

The high performance computing zone is focused on supporting customers who are running intensive Web analytics, big data and number crunching applications. These are users who are concerned about performance, latency, capacity, growth and energy security. Any Datapipe customer can access the Iceland node via a multitude of techniques, such as API, portals or scripting.

The original Stratosphere release was a managed virtualization product, going back to 2007-2008 when Datapipe was deploying virtual machines as a service. In the 2011-2012 timeframe, Datapipe evolved the platform into an API-driven, scalable, on-demand consumption model based cloud. Datapipe keeps the basic framework and evolves it according to customer needs. The current iteration of Stratosphere was built for the coming high-performance, big-data revolution, says Laczynski.

While Iceland, as a "greenfield" site, is the flagship for these new features, the company will be extending the same capabilities to all its facilities throughout the year. Even so, the Iceland location maintains some unique attributes. Examples include energy security, a green power footprint that is 100 percent renewable, a central location between the US and Europe, a robust networking infrastructure, and direct peering connections to Verne's datacenter from within Iceland.

Next >> Data Privacy

Data privacy is another big selling point, according to Tate Cantrell, CTO of Verne Global, who points out that Iceland is part of the European economic area and as such provides the same benefits as any other European zone. Cantrell reports that Verne has seen an uptick in inquiries from parties who are exploring alternatives to US-based datacenters because of the pressure incited by data privacy issues. He adds that Verne's legal team is confident in Iceland's strong privacy and data protection measures.

Datapipe's global datacenter portfolio includes property in the US, UK, Hong Kong, and Shanghai, but the IT services provider was drawn to Iceland for the green power footprint.

"Green's not just a talking point for Datapipe," notes Laczynski. "We are 100 percent renewable in the US today. It's an important part of our corporate strategy not just for the economic benefit but because we care. We knew we needed to find regions where we can extend our footprint in a green way and Verne has shown leadership in that area. As we moved up the stack in terms of managed services and cloud, we knew we needed to leverage expertise and Verne met our criteria."

"Datapipe's commitment to green energy shows in their leadership," states Verne's CTO. "They were way ahead of the curve in terms of going after green energy in the US. That's one of the reasons it became such a great partnership since we connected in 2011. Having them as a customer within Iceland further underpins our brand as someone who can bring sustainable ecological solutions to the datacenter industry while making sure they're sustainable for business."

Datapipe and Verne Global have a solid working relationship. While both companies have years of experience in IT, their roles are clearly delineated. Verne is Datapipe's datacenter operations partner, which means that Verne handles everything up to the floor and down to the ceiling. Datapipe maintains its own staff, procurement and supply chain on site. And more importantly from the customer perspective, the services, equipment and intellectual property are all managed, owned and operated by Datapipe.

Datapipe's customer base represents a cross-section of Global 2000 or Fortune500 with a mixture of high-tech startups that have evolved to have more mission-critical needs. "We're not generally the first provider that a startup would use, but we're often the second and last provider," notes Laczynski. Cloud users come from every sector, although several are especially well represented, including pharma, R&D, high-end manufacturing, insurance, analytics, social media and Web hosting.

The big data explosion is responsible for a lot of the demand. In two years, there will be 9,000 exabytes of data, and that is set to grow exponentially, says Laczynski. All these data streams need to be processed. Customers are seeking solutions that enable revenue opportunities and business agility, and they are demanding reliability and permanence from their cloud providers. Energy security is gaining in prominence as a datacenter priority, and Datapipe and Verne Global are meeting that challenge with energy rates that are locked in for a 20-year period.

"We are a turnkey option," says Laczynski. "If you're looking at how to deploy an application and it needs to be green, and it needs to be connected to New York and London and the rest of the world in a reliable way, and you need to get it down in a month, how are you going to do that? If you get access to our cloud, you can start plugging in resources in five minutes."

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