DataVita has announced its intention to invest in new infrastructure and capabilities in response to growing demand for AI services.

The Aidrie-based datacentre and cloud services provider will add to its high performance computing offer to keep up with ‘exponential’ growth in artificial intelligence and machine learning.

The move will allow the company, owned by HFD Group, to host high-density workloads at its DV1 facility in Lanarkshire, a first for Scotland.

As one of the UK’s most energy-efficient data centres, the facility now boasts the capacity to accommodate up to 100kW per rack for air cooling and up to 400kW per rack for liquid cooling.

This enhancement ‘significantly exceeds the capabilities of standard racks, providing essential support for the requirements of HPC, and represents a major leap forward for the Scottish data centre market’, says the firm.

Danny Quinn, MD of DataVita, said: “AI is one of the fastest growing sectors of technology and could have huge benefits for businesses, as well as public services and the wellbeing of citizens who use them. However, to support its widespread use we need to have the infrastructure in place to underpin the advanced computing power and data it requires. 

“While other European nations are struggling with power and capacity, Scotland has a surplus of renewable energy that could be used to power this new and exciting technology that everyone is talking about. We see a big opportunity tied to the growing global demand, which is why we have redesigned elements of our DV1 facility to match the needs of AI and HPC providers. 

“The location is ideal for companies aiming to reduce the carbon footprint of their IT provision while maintaining unmatched resilience, security, power and connectivity. By using Scotland’s natural resources and existing renewable energy infrastructure, we are proving that increasing AI data workloads does not need to come at the expense of the environment.”

According to the US International Trade Administration, the UK’s AI market is currently valued at over £16.9 billion and it is estimated to add £803.7 billion to the UK economy by 2035. Alongside the accelerated adoption of generative AI models such as ChatGPT over the last year, DataVita said it has witnessed a huge surge in the volume of enquiries for high-capacity hosting and is already in talks with a ‘number of globally significant tech providers’. 

The firm says the higher proportion of renewable sources in Scotland’s energy mix also means there is a much lower carbon footprint associated with hosting datacentres in the country compared to the rest of the UK and other nations. Relocating a 200-rack facility from London to Scotland would save over 6 million kgCO2e, equivalent to over 14 million miles driven by the average mid-sized car. Compared to Poland, it would reduce carbon emissions by 99 per cent, the company said.

Scotland generated more renewable power than it used for the first time in 2022 and, therefore, has plenty of capacity to host the data needs of AI. Organisations could also save up to 70 per cent on their data centre costs because of factors such as the country’s natural climate, which reduces the need for additional cooling.