NZ's Green Data Future Stymied by Lack of Second Cable
New Zealand’s green data future stymied by lack of second cable
Press Release - Wednesday, 9 January 2013
Multicore World 2013
New Zealand will never be an exporter of data, but will continue to suffer as major importers, until the country gets a second fibre optic cable.
“By implication, we’re missing out on some of the major opportunities hosting and exporting cloud based services from massive data crunching to film rendering, as well as storage,” says TUANZ chief executive, Paul Brislen.
“What makes it worse is we could provide increasingly demanded green power to run these massive installations. Arguably, it would be a much better use of the 15% of our total power that runs Tiwai Aluminium.”
Brislen says government and others are making a fundamental mistake in thinking a second cable would only be handling incoming data. That’s a feed to only 4 million people.
The ability, which we don’t have at the moment, to export data, to billions, completely changes the equation Brislen says.
“It’s a bit of a chicken and egg argument, but we’re totally forgetting the use we as inventive Kiwis will make through being able to easily and cheaply export data to the world,” he says.
A second cable would guarantee redundancy and an instant backup for those companies willing to build and service server farms and the river of data streaming from them.
Brislen says that throwing in the green data cloud storage opportunity makes a second cable most attractive.
“The other part of the infrastructure for all this is the use of multicore computers and parallel programming and the total IT architecture change that that brings about,” says Brislen.
Multicore World 2013, a two-day conference with an internationally-recognised cast of speakers on the opportunities, challenges and implications of many core processors on one chip takes place on February 19 & 20 at Wellington Town Hall.
“I’d encourage as many people as can, to get to the conference,” says Multicore World 2013 founder Nicolas Erdody. “It’s the only place, certainly in the southern hemisphere, where you’d learn about and understand what’s happening with the intersection of fundamental drivers of the next data and communications revolution.”
“I can imagine too, Multicore World’s break-time conversations will be extremely interesting. As always, that’ll be where connections and deals are made, insights gained.”
Multicore World 2013 boasts speakers who are authorities on computer architecture which allows parallel processing and massively increased computer, smartphone and other device performance.
The ability of computers to process massive amounts of data has been growing ever since they were invented.
As computer power has increased, the speed of processing has reached a physical barrier, and more processing power cannot be put onto a chip without overheating.
The problem has been solved by putting more processors onto a single chip, creating multicore chips. These multicore chips entered the mainstream market a few years ago, and all vendors currently sell them. They are now standard kit in all laptops, desktops and smartphones.
Multicore chips are also more power efficient, and the number of cores able to be added is theoretically virtually unlimited.
Previously impossible computational tasks can now be achieved. And processes which previously took, days or even weeks to perform can now be done swiftly.
But while this new processing power enables computers to do things faster, it also adds new challenges.
Before Multicore computer software was written for a single central processing unit (CPU) in a chip. To exploit the potential of multicore chips, software now needs to be written while thinking in parallel.
But parallel programming is different than traditional programming, and so far few programmers have experience of it.
Multicore is a mainstream but (as yet) niche new technology.
In the next 10-15 years, there will be huge opportunities to translate sequential programming (‘traditional’) legacy code, and to create new software that takes full advantage of thousands of cores in the next generation of chips.
Around the world parallel computing is currently used to process vast quantities of data produced by the internet and the "big data" originating out of social networks and millions of intelligent data recording devices attached to the internet.
Here in NZ it is also used in the biggest CGI rendering facility in the world at Wellington's Weta Digital.
And soon it will be a key component of the information processing required to handle the data produced by the Square Kilometer Array radio - telescope – a global scientific project that New Zealand is a part of.
In addition, there is a wide range of services, solutions and systems integration challenges to connect the two world's together.