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DownUnder GeoSolutions Moves to Skybox Datacenters for Oil & Gas Exploration

Today Australia-based DownUnder GeoSolutions (DUG) announced a move to Skybox Datacenters in Houston for its global expansion of a revolutionary oil and gas exploration technology. The deal, represented by Bennett Data Center Solutions, marks the largest colocation transaction in Houston’s history with a 15 megawatt data center that will be housed at the Skybox Houston campus, located in Houston’s Energy Corridor.

This was an exhaustive world-wide search for a data center location,” said Dr. Matthew Lamont, co-founder of DUG. “Houston was a natural choice given the low cost of power and the fact that Skybox had the available infrastructure ready to go. This facility will allow us to install the fastest supercomputer in the world at this time to meet the ever-increasing demand for energy. We are excited to expand our presence in Houston and expect to be operational by February 2019.”

Construction and installation is underway on building the exascale compute facility. DUG’s planned installation of more than 40,000 servers will create the fastest supercomputer in the world with over 250 single precision petaflops of computing speed. A petaflop is equal to one thousand million million floating-point operations per second. Space and power is available to take the data center to over an exaflop, or a billion billion calculations per second.

We are honored DUG chose Skybox for this revolutionary data center,” said Rob Morris, Managing Partner of Skybox Datacenters. “Our proximity to one of the largest substations in Houston and the ability to ramp up quickly were major factors in the decision. There are so many unique aspects about this project, from the sheer size and ultra-low cost of power to the innovative immersion cooling technology.”

Using DUG’s own patent-pending design, DUG Cool, the cooling system fully submerges all of the servers in custom-designed tanks filled with a special, environmentally-friendly dielectric fluid to cool the servers. The thermal qualities of the fluid mean that condensed water-cooling chillers can be used rather than refrigeration and server fans. This reduces energy usage by 45 percent over traditional air-cooled systems and enables the data center to run at a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) metric of less than 1.05, significantly lower than the PUE of recognized green data centers around the world.

Bennett Data Center Solutions represented and consulted DUG on the project to select the optimum data center solution.

This is the largest data center transaction in Houston history and a significant win for the city as it triumphed over several major global cities during the year-long selection process,” said Bryan Bennett, principal, Bennett Data Center Solutions. “Skybox Houston was selected after an evaluation of pricing models for data center services, power cost and availability, corporate tax structure and speed to market among other site selection criteria.”

Skybox Houston’s 20-acre campus and LEED Gold data center supports Fortune 500, Fortune 1000, and other small to medium enterprises. It is designed to cater to enterprise users in the region who require 100 percent uptime, high-performance and ultra-low latency computing needs. Skybox Houston utilizes a Miami-Dade rated design, built with a six-inch thick concrete roof deck that can sustain hurricane-force winds up to 190+ MPH.

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