May 17, 2020

Kolos to build world's largest data centre in Arctic Circle

data centre
Data center
Google
Microsoft
Callum Rivett
2 min
Kolos is building the world's largest data centre in Norway
US-Norwegian start-up Kolos has revealed plans to build the world's "largest" data centre in the town of Ballangan in Norway, which is situated just abo...

US-Norwegian start-up Kolos has revealed plans to build the world's "largest" data centre in the town of Ballangan in Norway, which is situated just above the Arctic Circle.

Whilst initially only drawing on around 70 megawatts of power, the centre will grow to need around 1,000MW - making it the largest in the world and beating out Amazon's Virginia plant by virtue of being condensed into a smaller area.

Such power will be provided by cheap, renewable energy, with hydroelectric dams and wind farms nearby.

"In Northern Norway, we actually have Europe's cheapest power, which is also 100% renewable," commented Kolos' CEO Håvard Lillebo.

The cold air, coupled with the geographical location of the data centre (it is surrounded by water on three sides), means that servers can be kept cool without having to expend an extortionate amount of energy.

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"As well as the ideal humidity, we have access to that fresh, clean, cool water which can act as a secondary cooling source if needed," said Mark Robinson, co-CEO, to the BBC.

Consuming energy is the biggest problem faced by data centres today, with 3% of the world's global electricity usage being accounted for by the massive computing centres.

That figure is growing bigger still - experts predict that data centres will consume around three times the amount of energy in the next decade. Japan has even said that by 2030, all of its electricity would be used exclusively by data centres if current growth continues.

Whilst the ambitious project looks set to be a success, Lillebo did reassure the city of Ballangan and made promises surrounding the data centre.

In a press release, Kolos stated that they believed the data centre would have a "very positive effect" on the community, "especially in terms of job opportunities."

Local talent - such as the students from nearby universities - would be high on the list of those who would be hired to fill roles.

Kolos also struck a deal in the event of failing to get their project off the ground - the city of Ballangan would secure the rights to the land and property in the event of bankruptcy or if the ground had not been broken within four years.

The four storey, 600,000 square metre centre has secured funding from Norwegian private investors but is still working with a US investment bank to gather more funds. 

 

 

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Jun 15, 2021

IT Employees Predict 90% Increase in Cloud Security Spending

Technology
Cloud
Cybersecurity
Investments
Elise Leise
3 min
Companies that took the initiative on cloud platforms are trying to cope with the security risks, according to Devo Technology’s report

As companies get back on their feet post-pandemic, they’re going all-in on cloud applications. In a recent report by Devo Technology titled “Beyond Cloud Adoption: How to Embrace the Cloud for Security and Business Benefits”, 81% of the 500 IT and security team members surveyed said that COVID accelerated their cloud timelines. More than half of the top-performing businesses reported gains in visibility. In fact, the cloud now outnumbers on-premise solutions at a 3:1 ratio

But the benefits are accompanied by significant cybersecurity risks, as cloud infrastructure is more complex than legacy systems. Let’s dive in. 

 

Why Are Cloud Platforms Taking Over? 

According to Forrester, the public cloud infrastructure market could grow 28% over the next year, up to US$113.1bn. Companies shifting to remote work and decentralised workplaces find it easy to store and access information, especially as networks start to share more and more supply chain and enterprise information—think risk mitigation platforms and ESG ratings. 

Here’s the catch: when you shift to the cloud, you choose a more complex system, which often requires cloud-native platforms for network security. In other words, you can’t stop halfway. ‘Only cloud-native platforms can keep up with [the cloud’s] speed and complexity” and ultimately increase visibility and control’, said Douglas Murray, CEO at cloud security provider Valtix. 

Here’s a quick list of the top cloud security companies, as ranked by Software Testing Help: 

 

What are the Security Issues? 

Here’s the bad news. According to Accenture, less than 40% of companies have achieved the full value they expected on their cloud investments. All-in greater complexity has forced companies to spend more to hire skilled tech workers, analyse security data, and manage new cybersecurity threats. 

The two main issues are (1) a lack of familiarity with cloud systems and (2) challenges with shifting legacy security systems to new platforms. Out of the 500 IT employees from Devo Technology’s cloud report, for example, 80% said they’d sorted 40% more security data, suffered from a lack of cloud security training, and experienced a 60% increase in cybersecurity threats. 

How Will Companies React? 

They certainly won’t stop investing in cloud platforms. Out of the 500 enterprise-level companies that Devo Technology talked to throughout North America and Western Europe, 90% anticipated a jump in cloud security spending in 2021. They’ll throw money at automating security processes and investing in security upskilling programmes. 

After all, company executives will find it incredibly difficult to stick with legacy systems when some cloud-centred companies have found success. Since moving from Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) offerings to the cloud, Accenture has saved up to 70% on its processes; recently, the company announced that it would invest US$3bn to help its clients ‘realise the cloud’s business value, speed, cost, talent, and innovation benefits’. 


The company stated: ‘Security is often seen as the biggest inhibitor to a cloud-first journey—but in reality, it can be its greatest accelerator’. 

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