Thursday, October 30, 2008

Iceland - A Green Data Center Hub?

We've heard the stories in recent months about activities in Iceland and the potential for locating data centers there. The geothermal resources and cold climate make it attractive for a power-hungry data center. The 2008 Icelandic Financial crisis may have some of those big companies that were "looking", thinking twice.

An article at Greentech Media is what had me thinking about Iceland again. The CEO of EYP made some comments about Iceland at a recent round table with reporters. According to the CIA World Factbook, Iceland is slightly smaller than Kentucky, has a population similar to Pitsburgh, and lists natural hazards of earthquakes and volcanic activity. The most interesting part of the article was these two lines:
"So in the future, large companies could roll them from center to center around the world and take advantage of low nightime electricity rates. Some HP customers and HP itself is already examining ways of shifting computing loads with the clock"

Not rocket science in terms of the concept, but it does reinforce the #1 site selection factor of cheap power, and #2, renewable energy possibilites in the area. I think in the end Iceland will loose out to Ireland as far as a European hub for data centers. Who knows though...... maybe Microsoft, Cisco, Google or others will build a cheap skeleton of a facility in Iceland where they could deploy containers quickly/easily -- and then pull them out just as easy to another location if economic problems in the country persisted.

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