German distributed data center company Cloud&Heat Technologies has arranged for its containerized products to be mass-produced in the Czech Republic by TradeDX, the local subsidiary of Chinese manufacturing giant Foxconn.

Cloud&Heat, whose products typically run an OpenStack cloud implementation, with a cooling system designed to reuse waste heat, announced a version of its systems housed in a portable 20-foot container at CeBit in 2017, and shipped a unit to Japan earlier in 2018. Since then demand has grown, with around 30 new customers, including bookings from Japan and Scandinavia, and a ”major order from a German energy group”.

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cloud&heat container july 2018
– Cloud&Heat

To meet this demand, the company has decided to have part of the manufacturing carried out by TradeDX. To date, the entire product had been built by Cloud&Heat near Dresden, but now TradeDX will create the outer shells, with Cloud&Heat installing the IT and cooling systems.

Foxconn (also known in China as Hon Hai Precision Industry) started in the Czech repbulic in 2016 with a data center joint venture called SafeDX, aimed, initially, at giving Asian companies a foothold in Europe.

The company set up the container-making division in 2017, based on previous experience in delivering data center containers.

Cloud&Heat’s containers use CPU and GPU servers, with up to 1,440 GPUs per unit. Two models are available, using air cooling or water cooling. Both models allow for re-use of the waste heat produced, but a Cloud&Heat spokesman explained that the potential for heat reuse is greater with the water-cooled model, which circulates water at 60C, hot enough to be used in heating buildings.

cloud heat technologies deal mit trade dx foxconn
Cloud&Heat and TradeDX – Cloud&Heat

The company reckons one of its units can save up to 1,337 tons of CO2 per year compared with conventional systems, and promises a PUE (power utilization effectiveness) of 1.1.

The TradeDX factory can produce up to 240 containers per year, and Cloud&Heat has an agreement to sell and supply this many units.

“This cooperation is an important milestone in the development of Cloud&Heat from a former start-up to a globally operating company,” said Nicolas Röhrs, CEO of Cloud&Heat Technologies.