Daimler is moving its high performance computing (HPC) into the Norwegian underground colocation site, Lefdal Mine Data center.

The car company plans to be carbon neutral by 2039, and is is moving its vehicle design and automated driving research onto data center as a service infrastructure in the mine run by services company Infosys.

Green infrastructure as a service

India-based Infosys has been running Daimler's IT backbone since 2014, and will manage the HPC infrastructure in its entierety, using its data center as a service offering on hardware located in the Lefdal mine. The service comes under Infosys' Cobalt hybrid cloud offering, which combines private data centers on multiple continents, as well as Edge and hyperscale facilities.

Lefdal is a green facility, in which a modular data center is being constructed in an abandoned olivine mine at Måløy and powered using local renewable hydroelectric energy. It is potentially Europe's largest data center, with up to 200MW, and a floor space of 120,000 sq m (1.3 million sq ft) in 75 underground halls. It currently has around 20MW of capacity, which has been gradually built out in the underground space using modular container-based hardware. Cooling is assisted by water from the depths of the adjacent fjord, it doesn't consume any water for evaporative cooling, and has a power usage effectiveness (PUE) between 1.10 to 1.15 depending on the UPS configuration and the loading of the data center.

Jan Brecht, chief information officer at Daimler and Mercedes-Benz, said: “A large proportion of our IT energy consumption comes from our data centers which require significant power for computing and cooling. That’s why we’re transforming our data centers with the support of our partner Infosys, bringing particularly the high-performance computing into one energy-efficient solution at Lefdal Mine Datacenter. Not only will we benefit from natural cooling thanks to the cold weather, [but] our operations will also be run on 100 percent green energy."

After being first announced in 2015, Lefdal opened in 2017. In 2020, Columbia Threadneedle European Sustainable Infrastructure Fund (ESIF) acquired a majority stake in Lefdal Mine Datacenter, and UBS Asset Management provided €50 million ($61.1 million) of finance over the next five years to support the expansion of the data center.

This year, Norway's Sigma2 supercomputer body announced that future systems would be installed at Lefdal.

Jan Christian Vestre, Minister of Trade and Industry in the Norwegian Government, said: “I wish to congratulate the parties on reaching this important milestone. Lefdal Mine Datacenter, based on the reuse of industrial infrastructure and locally produced energy, is an excellent example of how Norwegian data centers and industrial know-how can help industries of the future achieve their goals of decarbonization.”

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