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BNP Paribas moves to Swedish datacentre in high-performance computing strategy

BNP Paribas is moving data-intensive workloads to a Swedish datacentre to increase capacity while reducing its carbon footprint

BNP Paribas is moving its IT operations to a second datacentre in the Nordic region as it shifts high-performance computing (HPC) workloads to a campus in Stockholm.

The move to the atNorth datacentre in Sweden builds on the bank’s existing datacentre presence in the Nordic region, having moved processing to an atNorth centre in Iceland in 2018.

Alexis Carrion, global head of datacentres at BNP Paribas, said the Nordic region was supporting its aim to reduce its carbon footprint.

“AtNorth’s [Iceland datacentre] has been instrumental in helping BNP Paribas ensure our IT operations are as sustainable and carbon neutral as possible, which is an initiative close to the core of our business at the moment,” said Carrion.

“We have seen great results from migrating IT workloads to atNorth’s datacentre site in Iceland five years ago,” Carrion added.

That move to Iceland is said to have increased total capacity by nearly 30%, reduced energy consumption by more than 50% and decreased CO2 output by 85%.

Data-intensive workloads being moved to Sweden include applications used to calculate the positions and associated risks in the financial markets. The bank said it was increasing its grid computing capacity with the atNorth site, adding 20%, both to meet demand and its “guiding principles for sustainability and efficiency”.

Iceland-headquartered atNorth specialises in environmentally responsible datacentres. The datacentre in Sweden is built for heat recovery and is designed to operate with the lowest carbon footprint possible. It can capture the heat from up to 85% of the electricity used within the unit, which is passed on to the central district heating system to provide heat and hot water for the surrounding community.

“Sweden’s climate and renewable energy resources, combined with atNorth’s innovative cooling and large-scale reuse of heat, are attracting European companies that want to reduce their CO2 footprint,” said atNorth’s chief sales officer, Gisli Kr.

Along with other Nordic countries, Sweden has emerged as a popular location for operators to build datacentres in recent years, due to its abundance of readily available, lower-cost, renewable power.

There has also been a push for enterprises to consider relocating their energy-intensive HPC workloads to the region for this reason.

A number of tech giants have a well-established datacentre presence in the Nordic countries. Facebook opened its first of three datacentres in Sweden in 2013. Microsoft and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have also since established a datacentre presence in the country.

Read more about European datacentre trends

Read more on IT for financial services

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