Yahoo Building Next ‘Coop’ in Switzerland

An aerial view of the Yahoo data center in Lockport, N.Y.

The Yahoo Computing Coop is coming to Europe. Yahoo confirmed Thursday that it will build its next major data center in Avenches, Switzerland. The new facility, which will come online in 2012, will use a Yahoo design that allows the data center to be cooled with fresh air, foregoing the use of energy-hungry chillers. This approach, modeled loosely on heat management principles used in chicken coops, was first implemented in the company’s new data center in Lockport, New York.

There’s one key difference in the Swiss project: Yahoo is converting an existing facility for use as a data center, rather than a greenfield project using factory-built modules, as was the case in Lockport.

“We’re proud of this design because it’s a retrofit of an older structure (build in the 60’s) that will allow operation of YCC technology,” said Scott Noteboom, Director of Data Center Operations for Yahoo. “We’ve figured out how to make it work in other situations aside from just pre-engineered structure built from the ground up. The design approach is almost identical in efficiency and approach to what we did in Lockport.”

Noteboom said the new facility in Switzerland is expected to operate at a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) rating of 1.08, equivalent to the PUE for the Lockport data center.

Yahoo has been scouting sites in the Avenches area since 2007, and considered several locations before commencing construction this week.

For more on Yahoo’s data centers, here’s some links to our recent coverage of Yahoo’s data center operations:

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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  1. Nate

    “Coop” is a large retailer in Switzerland. For a moment I thought Yahoo was going to be opening a grocery store…