ASX upgrades co-lo data centre to support power-hungry FPGAs

Already a fifth of the new high-density pods are under contract from ASX customers

The ALC in Gore Hill, Sydney.

The ALC in Gore Hill, Sydney.

The Australian Securities Exchange has officially launched new high-density pods at its Tier III co-location data centre.

The ASX says that the new pods at the Australian Liquidity Centre (ALC) in Gore Hill — the co-lo facility launched by the exchange in early 2012 — will support customers that want to run power-hungry systems including increasingly sophisticated FPGAs to support data analytics and machine learning.

The pods offer cold-aisle containment with in-row chillers and can support up to 24 kilowatts per cabinet, according to ASX. Access is controlled by biometric security measures.

“Providing a dedicated high-density service addresses the needs of our customers for increased, uninterrupted power delivered in a highly robust, secure and cost-efficient manner,” said ASX global head of sales, Adam Bradley.

“As appliance manufacturers continue to create faster and ultimately hotter appliances, our customers are looking for higher density power with more efficient cooling to support their business initiatives. The ALC’s dedicated high-density pod has been developed to meet this customer need.” 

Already a fifth of the space available has been contracted within days of the services launch, according to the ASX.

“Energy turnover has become a major limiting factor to the performance of a trading firm’s high-density compute stack, rather than the clock rate or number of chips used,” a statement released by the ASX said. “For a specific segment of the user base within the ALC ecosystem, the performance of these finely tuned trading plants primarily depends on how much heat can be dissipated.”

“The introduction of high-density pods helps firms deploy their next generation trading architecture in a less complex and more efficient manner,” Bradley said.

“Subject to demand and the advancement of technology, we have the capacity to deploy additional high-density pods. We welcome engagement with our customers and the industry on how ASX platforms can better support their operations.” 

ALC services helped drive the ASX’s technical services revenue to $40.3 million in the first half, up 8.3 per cent on the prior comparable period.

As of the end of December 2018, 130 customers had taken space in the ALC, up from 122 as of the end of December 2018, and the facility housed 323 cabinets (up 3.9 per cent) and 1030 service connections (up 10.3 per cent).

The exchange is currently constructing a new secondary data centre site to act as a backup to the ALC; technical migration is expected to begin in Q1 FY20. Also underway is an upgrade of its ASX Net communications network, with the shift of services to the network expected to be completed by September 2019.

Another major technology project underway at the exchange is the roll out of a blockchain-inspired system to replace CHESS, which provides clearing, settlement, and asset registration services. In April the ASX launched a developer sandbox for the new system, which is expected to go live in 2021.

In February, the exchange operator detailed a new data analytics platform for customers, dubbed ASX DataSphere.

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Tags data centresData CenterASXASX LimitedFPGAsinfrastructureData Centre

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