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by Sofia Villegas
19 February 2024
Scottish tech company upgrades services to match AI demand

Tech company to host Scotland's first high-performance workloads | Alamy

Scottish tech company upgrades services to match AI demand

DataVita has invested in new infrastructure to support the growth of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

The cash injection will allow the IT business to host high-performance workloads, representing a first for Scotland.

According to DataVita, which is Scotland’s largest data centre and cloud services provider, the new capabilities will match a booming demand for AI in the market.

Located in Lanarkshire, the DV1 facility will be able to accommodate up to 100kW per rack for air cooling and 400kW per rack for liquid cooling.

The company is already in talks with various international tech providers about using its services.

Danny Quinn, managing director of DataVita, said: “AI is one of the fastest-growing sectors of technology and could have huge benefits for businesses, as well as public services and the wellbeing of citizens who use them. However, to support its widespread use we need to have the infrastructure in place to underpin the advanced computing power and data it requires. “

Currently, the UK’s AI market is valued at near £17bn, and it is estimated that it will contribute more than £800bn to the economy by 2035, according to the US International Trade Administration.

North of the border almost a third – 32 per cent – of organisations are using AI tools, a boost of six per cent in six months, according to a report published in January by recruiter Hays.

It is also claimed that Scotland’s energy mix makes it a suitable environmentally friendly hotspot for data centres.

Relocating a 200-rack facility from London to Scotland would save over six million kgCO2e, equivalent to over 14 million miles driven by the average mid-sized car, and compared to Poland, it would reduce carbon emissions by 99 per cent.

Also as of 2022, Scotland generates more renewable energy than it uses.

Quinn added: “While other European nations are struggling with power and capacity, Scotland has a surplus of renewable energy that could be used to power this new and exciting technology that everyone is talking about. We see a big opportunity tied to the growing global demand, which is why we have redesigned elements of our DV1 facility to match the needs of AI and HPC providers.

“The location is ideal for companies aiming to reduce the carbon footprint of their IT provision while maintaining unmatched resilience, security, power, and connectivity. By using Scotland’s natural resources and existing renewable energy infrastructure, we are proving that increasing AI data workloads does not need to come at the expense of the environment.”

Scotland boasts other conditions thought necessary to make data centres more economically viable. For instance, the country’s weather could bring a 70 per cent cut in data centre costs as it reduces the need for additional cooling.

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