Data Centers – So cold right now

Scandinavia is known for it’s majestic landscape, folklore and culture. As well as this it is renowned for it’s wealth and high standards of living expected by their citizens. Oh yeah, it is also very, very cold.

Earlier this year, Facebook opened a new data center in Lulea, Sweden. Situated on the edge of the Arctic circle, this provides a logical way to save on energy costs and reduce their carbon footprint …. opening the window! The bitterly cold temperatures reaching as low as minus 40 degrees Celsius, can be drawn into the facility to cool the massive data rack towers.

Following Facebook’s expedition, other firms are realizing the energy savings opportunities. UK data center provider, Hydro 66, have plans for a facility in Boden, 70 miles from the Arctic circle. The private investment would hope to attract corporate interest to more efficient data housing.

It’s not a brand new venture, Google opened a center in Finland in 2011 and Green mountain data have a facility IN a Norwegian mountain which is cooled by the cool waters of a Fjord.

The falling price of renewable energy may impact on the market potential for locating data centers in Scandinavia. Also, the latency in transmissions between the Arctic circle and say a Bank in Central London, would not be an easy sell.

Data centers are the planet’s guilty energy pleasure. Information and communication technology account for 10% of the world’s electricity use.  Over the next 5 years, these industries are suggested to expand 10 fold, demanding an amount of electricity we probably could not comprehend today.

This move from such Tech giants as Facebook and Google is sure to cause a butterfly effect in the industry and will beckon others to follow in their foot steps.

 

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Robert Lyons
Robert Lyons

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