Tor Björn Minde
TF avdelningschefContact Tor Björn
30 May 2021, 13:29
A story about ICE Datacenter has been published on the RISE web.
[in swedish] See translation below.
Never before has so much data been available as now. This means enormous opportunities for those who know how it can be used or handled - but at the same time have access to the technology required. The ICE data center, run by RISE, helps companies and other businesses to analyze and process data such as computing power and software and hardware testing.
Slightly carelessly described, ICE, an approximately 900 square meter facility, is located approximately halfway between Luleå University of Technology and Facebook's data center. ICE stands for infrastructure and cloud research and test environment. The fact that the data center was built here in 2016 was largely due to the availability of electricity, but also that the world-famous neighbor made many realize that Sweden needed independent open data centers in order to be competitive and challenge the rest of the world.
When more and more in society is about data, there must simply be actors who can analyze and process it and help companies to develop their business around the data. ICE is one such player.
- Our mission is to help Swedish industry and the public sector, but since we are in Luleå, we also have a regional mission and also help companies in this region, says Tor Björn Minde, unit manager at ICE.
In fact, there are few similar facilities in the world with the same knowledge and expertise gathered.
- Facebook, Microsoft and Ericsson have bigger and better internal facilities than we have, but if you count open facilities where companies can come and do experiments and tests, this is probably one of the largest facilities in the world and we are absolutely Europe's leader, says Tor Björn Minde.
To continue to be a leader in the industry, ICE also collaborates with foreign companies, both European and international.
- If we are to be able to help advanced companies, we must be one step ahead, otherwise they have no help from us. So we work with the best to maintain and build up our own cutting-edge expertise, says Tor Björn Minde.
Four work areas
Today, there are four major work areas where testing and development of equipment linked to the operation of data centers was the part from which everything else sprang. Today you can perform advanced tests and research on heat recovery, electricity, cooling and automated control. To help, they have, among other things, wind tunnels and climate and heating boxes to regulate temperature and humidity.
- We can set all the world's climate and also try to take advantage of the waste heat from the data center through, for example, different methods of plant cultivation experiments, says Tor Björn Minde.
For companies or businesses that need to analyze and process their own data and evaluate how it can be used in the best way, ICE is also a support. The ICE connect service provides access to, among other things, computer power for larger computations, but also a number of different cloud services with software programs for analysis needs.
- To that service we can also add our experts who can then work together with the company, says Tor Björn Minde.
One company that has taken advantage of this opportunity is Scania. The purpose was to investigate how the data collected while driving the company's trucks could be used.
- It came with its data to us and used one of our computer platforms and we had staff who helped them. With the help of the data, they could see what information the drivers needed while driving, says Tor Björn Minde.
5G enables new computation methods.
One of ICE's most recent areas of work is what are called edge computing. The method has been made possible through the improvement of the 5G network and is an important part of increasing the areas of use for mobile phones and other connected equipment. The computing equipment is placed at a 5G base station, which means that delays and interference are minimized. This is an important aspect when the trend is towards our phones and the applications we use requiring more and more data and calculations.
- Then you can make applications that were not possible before, it is often about delay-sensitive real-time services, says Tor Björn Minde and mentions AR applications and AR glasses as examples.
Together with the Swedish Space Agency, ICE is also developing a platform for analyzing satellite data over time. The EU's space program Copernicus continuously collects satellite data over Europe, but today there is no Swedish database for the information.
- We are now developing a platform where we can offer this data and associated services to authorities. A typical example of a project can be that you look at the overgrowth of Lake Vänern or drought in the Mälardalen valley and compare between different years, says Tor Björn Minde. In the past, each authority has often developed a few of its own services around satellite data. Something that has been both costly and time consuming.
- This is a collective approach with the aim of making it better, easier and cheaper, says Tor Björn Minde.
Test and evaluate without investing
An important point with the entire business, especially valuable for small and medium-sized companies, is the opportunity to test and evaluate equipment and data without the need for large own investments.
- Small companies do not need to build their own data center to test their equipment. Instead, they can rent from us for as long as they need. We can also give advice on how to find financing to use us, concludes Tor Björn Minde.