STT GDC & Firmus to Build a Network of Sustainable AI Factories

Collaborative venture aims to provide cost-effective, large-scale and sustainable GPU and AI cloud services for the AI & visual computing era

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Media OutReach ST Telemedia Global Data Centres (STT GDC) has announced a significant investment into a global venture with Firmus Technologies (Firmus).

The HyperCube will be hosted within STT GDC locations globally, to deliver Sustainable AI Factories that are all at once sustainable, scalable, high performance and cost effective.

The venture is to be based in Singapore and will see the launch of a GPU-centric Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offering focused on deep learning AI and visual computing workloads, to be known as Sustainable Metal Cloud (SMC). SMC will deliver bare-metal-service access to high-performance AI clusters, which include some of the world’s most advanced workload accelerators including GPUs and high-speed networking from NVIDIA for energy-efficient computing.

SMC will leverage Firmus’ proprietary, scaled, immersion-cooled platform – the ‘HyperCube’ – hosted within global STT GDC locations, to deliver Sustainable AI Factories that are all at once sustainable, scalable, high performance and cost effective.

Within the HyperCube is a fleet of high-performance servers in an immersion-cooled environment. The combination of Firmus’ immersion-cooled computing platform paired with STT GDC’s highly efficient data centre infrastructure will result in AI workloads running with a lower PUE, lower CO2 emissions and higher petaflops per watt.

Within the HyperCube, Firmus will operate a fleet of high-performance servers in its immersion-cooled environment, provided by OEM partners including Supermicro. Firmus’ unlocks access to world-class AI tools and hardware in a highly available way, thanks to industry-standard uptime SLAs, provided and warranted directly by SMC to each customer.

Firmus & STT GDC are launching SMC in Singapore, India and Australia in 2023, with the Singapore AZ (SIN01) expected to be live in H2 2023.

The combination of Firmus’ immersion-cooled computing platform, paired with STT GDC’s highly efficient data centre infrastructure, will result in AI workloads running with a lower PUE, lower CO2 emissions and higher petaflops per watt.

“We are delighted to have STT GDC as our partner. This venture is a world first and brings together Firmus’ world-class scaled immersion-cooled computing platform with STT GDC’s global footprint, based on NVIDIA’s deep learning and visual computing architecture that is driving the exponential growth in AI. This offering will be underpinned by STT GDC’s globally recognised and award-winning data centres,” said Ted Pretty, Firmus Technologies Chairman. “The vision of Firmus’ founders was to invest in a long-term solution that will break the mould of the traditional data centre model. They imagined the data centre as an entire computing platform – a ‘Sustainable AI Factory’ – and ensuring that this computing platform is best-in-class in terms of sustainability, operating and capital cost effectiveness. The vision of this venture is to combine STT GDC’s strength – being one of the world’s largest data centre infrastructure groups – with that of our HyperCube platform to deliver what we believe is a wholly unique proposition in delivering AI & visual computing at scale not seen before in Asia or Europe.”

“The compound growth in forecasted energy consumption is an existential threat to the data centre sector. Data centre operators and their customers must be prepared to embrace and support new cooling solutions and expand the services they offer beyond traditional air-cooled colocation if they are to host AI GPU platforms in a sustainable manner. The evolution of the data centre into AI factories of the future will fundamentally change the way that all infrastructure operators are thinking about the design and operation of their facilities. STT GDC’s foresight and long-term vision made them the ideal global partner for Firmus’ highly developed solution,” said Pretty.

“The future of data centres will rely on the ability to provide both exceptional performance and highly sustainable services at scale. From our beginnings in Singapore almost 10 years ago, we now have scaled the business to cover 10 geographies. We are immensely pleased to enhance our core co-location offering to include the latest GPU-based bare-metal services, empowering our customers with access to the next generation of high-performance computing which will be so critical in the AI revolution. These high-performance services are a key component of the critical infrastructure needed to support the plethora of AI use cases that will be critical to business, governments and society in years to come,” said Bruno Lopez, President and Group Chief Executive, ST Telemedia Global Data Centres.

He continued, “STT GDC, in partnership with Firmus, is committed to providing sustainable and foundational compute infrastructure. Singapore was the location of choice for our first flagship installation given the city’s leadership in AI and sustainability. Through our new bare-metal service, customers will have early access to cost-effective and large-scale GPU compute through Firmus’ embedded AI compute platform with leading-edge liquid immersion technology. We believe that data centres are critical building blocks of computing, and our investment in Firmus’ technology and computing platform will transform our assets into sustainable AI factories, enabling our customers to process demanding workloads efficiently.”

After the first deployment in Singapore, the subsequent expansion will be into the India market in 2023. In 2024 and beyond, the deployment of Sustainable Metal Cloud availability zones (AZs) will be expanded across the STT GDC portfolio.