Reducing emissions with efficient data management

Reducing emissions with efficient data management

Recently, the Federal Government passed legislation to achieve a 43% reduction in emissions by 2030. This requires over 215 organisations, collectively responsible for almost 30% of Australia’s total, to maintain their emissions below a designated baseline figure.

Achieving emissions-reduction goals will require a coordinated and determined effort. Organisations will need to implement a range of initiatives that include identifying opportunities within their supply chains. Companies involved in natural resources and energy (earmarked by the legislation to reduce emissions) are already embracing the digital transformation as their data generation and usage continue to grow. However, one often overlooked area for reducing emissions is efficient processing and storage of data.

Data proliferation demands efficient data management

The global proliferation of data has been so extraordinary that it has led many to refer to data as the currency of the twenty-first century.

High performance computing (HPC) is the assemblage of many computers to perform complex calculations of a size that would otherwise be impossible. These supercomputers harness tens of thousands of individual systems, enabling them to be treated like a single unit. HPC is essential not only in research settings but also for applications across a diverse range of sectors, from early bushfire detection and combating neurodegenerative diseases, to enhancing the efficiency and performance of defence vessels. Leveraging HPC allows organisations to expedite their time to market and secure a competitive edge.

With the surge in data usage and demand for HPC, managing energy consumption becomes increasingly crucial. Globally, data centres consume almost the same amount of energy as the entirety of the United Kingdom each year. Efficient data management, therefore, has emerged as a vital strategy for reducing emissions amidst a backdrop of expanding data processing and storage.

Data management encompasses both traditional and innovative approaches, ranging from on-premise infrastructure optimisation to cloud-based technologies that offer greater scalability and flexibility. Nonetheless, there is still significant room for improvement—especially in minimising energy consumption associated with data processing and storage.

Why are data centres such big energy users?

Data centres generate significant heat, requiring cooling systems that account for over 40% of their power consumption. Traditional air-cooling methods are inefficient, leading to wasted energy, thermally stressed components, reduced performance and reliability, and increased operating costs. Therefore, optimising data centre cooling systems is crucial for energy savings and operational success.

These challenges drove Perth-headquartered DUG Technology (DUG) to develop DUG Cool, an innovative, energy-efficient, data-centre-cooling solution. The patented technology submerges hardware in a non-conductive, biodegradable fluid.

The thermally stable conditions created by the fluid significantly outperform air in both heat absorption and dissipation. By eliminating air conditioning, chillers, and fans, immersion cooling cuts electricity costs by over 50% compared to an average data centre.

Because DUG’s computers aren’t exposed to air and dust there is much less wear and tear. The fluid also safeguards components from overheating, prolonging their longevity, reducing downtime and improving sustainability.

Achieving more with less

One frequently overlooked aspect of energy efficiency in HPC is the potential for substantial savings through expert support. Running poorly optimised codes on supercomputers is akin to using the handle of a hammer instead of its head to drive a nail. For instance, if a code runs at only 10% of its full performance potential, it takes 10 times longer to complete its task, wasting 90% of its performance as electrical energy.

HPC support is critical for streamlining workflows and reducing energy consumption. Support teams provide expert guidance, helping organisations identify bottlenecks, eliminate redundancies, and enhance data workflow efficiency. This leads to not only reduced energy consumption but also improved productivity and cost savings. By partnering with an HPC provider specialising in support, organisations can tap into the expertise needed to achieve emissions reduction targets while optimising data management processes.

Effective data management is essential for achieving emissions reduction targets under the Federal Government’s Safeguard Mechanism. By adopting innovative technologies, optimising cooling systems, and leveraging HPC support to streamline workflows, organisations can significantly reduce their energy consumption and carbon footprint across supply chains.

To streamline your data workflows and reduce associated emissions simultaneously, contact [email protected].

By Mitchell Lim

Mitchell Lim is DUG's Scientific Content Architect. With a PhD in Chemical Engineering, Mitch is an expert in the fields of catalysis and ultrasonics. Full-time science geek, part-time fitness junkie, Mitch strives to deliver effective and engaging science communication, as he believes that easily digestible scientific perspectives have the potential to impact and benefit society at large.

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