First Look: Opera’s Iceland Data Center

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A look at the double-decker container deployment for opera in the Thor data center in Iceland.

Opera Software has posted a slideshow of photos from its new container data center in Iceland, which began operations today. The company, which develops browser software for mobile devices, is the first customer of the Thor Data Center in Hafnarfjorour. The facility features data center containers from Spanish tech firm AST Global that use fresh air cooling, allowing servers to run without the use of chillers for air conditioning.

Data from more than 20 million Opera Mini users in Europe, Africa and Asia will travel via Iceland when using their mobile phones to surf the Web, the company said. Opera Mini has more than 71 million users worldwide, which the company says makes it the most popular mobile browser.

The primary attraction for Opera was the ability to power its servers with renewable energy, a key selling point in Iceland’s pitch for more data center development.

“This move makes sense in multiple ways,” said Jon von Tetzchner, co-founder of Opera Software. “The environment wins by the switch to green energy and cooling methods. Meanwhile, our finance department is happy with the savings we make by locating these servers closer to the natural resources on which we rely. The mix of clean energy, skilled IT workers and fast Internet connections to international hubs lets us provide the best service for our European, Asian and African users of Opera Mini.”

“We are delighted to host Opera’s many customers in a secure and ecofriendly data center, powered by nature itself,” said Jon Viggo Gunnarson, CEO and Co-founder of Thor Data Center. “We offer highly competent and experienced staff, and it makes me proud on behalf of the people in Iceland. I look forward to expanding our business in USA and Europe.”

In early 2007 the government of Iceland began been touting the country as an affordable destination for data center development, citing its abundant supply of geothermal power.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor-in-chief 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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