Energy Reality: Soaring Costs, Scarcity, and Sustainability
Geopolitical turmoil, dramatically higher energy costs, and renewed emphasis on sustainability are throwing every aspect of business operations into sharp relief. For companies running compute-intensive workloads such as simulations, the energy demands of data centers are under increasing scrutiny. Can high-performance computing contribute to a greener world?
The war in Ukraine shattered the European – and possibly the global – geopolitical landscape. Alongside the violent catastrophe of war, energy costs soared.
Yet even in a future where supplies may be volatile in price, availability, and volume, the demand for energy will, of course, continue. In this new world, what steps can consumers and businesses take to minimize power usage while maximizing efficiency and outcomes?
Facing the new realities, the term ‘energy sobriety’ is emerging in France, in some ways similar to the earlier German “Energiewende,” reflecting the desire to think more deeply about consumption from all aspects, emphasizing best use of a precious resource.
Global data centers, particularly HPC data centers, are naturally coming under increasing scrutiny. Engineers now not only look for the most-efficient way to run workloads, but also at the efficiency and sustainability of the data centre itself. For HPC tasks, a new energy equation is taking shape, influenced by a complex mix of compute performance, cost, sustainability, and price.
To tackle these challenges, new tools are emerging that enable HPC users to assign workload to the platforms best-suited to individual tasks. These tools will help to meet sustainability targets even as users reduce costs, improve throughput, and cut energy consumption.
As Europe and the world adjusts to the new realities of war, HPC will also respond. Even though the commercial imperatives will continue to apply, green data centers and sustainable computing will now play a central role as we reach out for energy sobriety.