COVID-19 Leading to Massive Uptick in Demand for Computing Capacity, According to Northern Data

March 30, 2020

FRANKFURT AM MAIN, Germany, March 30, 2020 — Northern Data AG, providers of high-performance computing (HPC) solutions,  reports that the COVID-19 Pandemic is resulting in a massive increase in computing capacity demand. In order to meet the increased demand, the company has instigated an acceleration of the expansion of capacities at its locations and in addition is looking to develop further locations.

Immediate demand for computing power in the wake of the pandemic is being driven by two immediate and game changing developments: Firstly, pharmaceutical companies and research institutions worldwide are using HPC systems on a large scale for the first time in order to carry out calculations and simulations in the field of bioinformatics and epidemiology in the shortest possible time, which with conventional computer systems can take several months or even years. This gives research teams the opportunity to accelerate the development of novel drugs that can be used against the coronavirus in the short term. Northern Data management expects this trend to continue after the end of the COVID 19 pandemic.

Secondly, working conditions worldwide have shifted drastically online in a matter of weeks through the course of the COVID 19 pandemic, this has led to a massive increase in demand for computing capacity. Due to the current restrictions, many companies in parts of the United States, Europe and Asia are forced to operate with an almost 100% home office ratio. The associated use of digital applications such as video conferencing tools is causing an explosion in demand for data capacities. Also, this trend will continue beyond the corona crisis.

Northern Data will start operating its newest HPC facility in the United States in the coming days. The world’s largest HPC data center is being built in Texas on an area of ​​more than 100 acres, which corresponds to the size of around 57 soccer fields. The company originally intended to achieve a total capacity of one gigawatt at the US location by the end of the year. Due to the changed and overwhelming demand situation, plans are now beginning to seamlessly expand the location to up to 3.6 gigawatts.

The company is also accelerating the development of additional locations for additional large-scale HPC facilities in Canada and Scandinavia.

“We are facing overwhelming demand,” said Aroosh Thillainathan, CEO of Northern Data AG. “In some areas we see a thirty times higher market demand than we can build up capacities by the end of the year. We now benefit from our many years of experience in large-scale high-performance computing in order to further accelerate ongoing scaling.”

Northern Data published its forecast for 2020 on March 16. Based on current expectations and in line with contracts already signed, the Management Board expects revenues of EUR 120 million to EUR 140 million in the course of 2020. Accordingly, the Management Board expects EBITDA of between EUR 45 million and EUR 60 million. This guidance is based only on a partial utilization of initially 30% of the 1GW expansion stage, based on already concluded contracts for the provision of HPC solutions with global customers. The forecast will be adjusted in due course as new customer acquisition progresses.

About Northern Data

Northern Data AG develops and builds global infrastructure solutions in the area of ​​high-performance computing (HPC). The company offers solutions in areas such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, big data analytics, blockchain, game streaming and others. The international company emerged from the merger of the German Northern Bitcoin AG and the American Whinstone US, Inc. and is today a recognized market leader in the field of HPC solutions worldwide. Northern Data offers its HPC solutions both stationary in large, state-of-the-art data centers and in mobile, high-tech data centers based on containers, which can be set up at any location worldwide. It combines self-developed software and hardware with intelligent concepts for a sustainable energy supply. In Texas, Whinstone is currently building the largest HPC data center in the United States and the largest facility in the world specifically for HPC applications.


Source: Northern Data 

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