Star Trek Meets The Data Center

EvoSwitch Communications officer Mark Karsh uses his tricorder to check the ship’s Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) is still lower than 1.2. (Photo:EvoSwitch)

The data center has met the Final Frontier. Amsterdam provider EvoSwitch has always billed itself as a “next generation” data center. This week, as it celebrates its fifth anniversary, EvoSwitch is boldly going where no data center press announcement has gone before.

The company is celebrating its milestone with a Star Trek theme, with employees suiting up in Federation-style uniforms (complete with an EvoSwitch emblem) to “protect Earth from harmful C02.” The photos are accompanied by a press release written in Klingon. See our photo feature for details.

“From day one, we always talked about next generation,” said Eric Boonstra, managing director of EvoSwitch. “Innovation is one of our core values.”

Boonstra says the Star Trek theme reflects the company’s forward-looking focus on technology and sustainability. “When we started five years ago, we looked at the future and saw green,” he said. “There weren’t so many people thinking about energy efficiency at that time. We had a lot of experience using other data centers, and took the lessons we learned and started our own data center.”

EvoSwitch 100,000 square foot (9,285 square meter) climate neutral data center houses the European infrastructure for Wikipedia, among others.  EvoSwitch is supported by 20 megawatts of power capacity that is generated entirely from sustainable sources by Delta power, which uses a mix of solar, wind and biomass in its power generation. EvoSwitch also works with the Climate Neutral Group to purchase offsets for the CO2 emitted by its generators and on-site parking.

Much has changed over the last five years, Boonstra noted. “Sustainability is becoming much more of a core value for companies than it was five years ago,” he said. “If you attend industry events in the United States or London, everyone is talking about being green and their PUE.”

So what’s next on the horizon? EvoSwitch is now focusing on modular design, expanding its facility using custom enclosures from DataXenter, a new modular data center provider operated by Ocom, the parent company of EvoSwitch. DataXenter’s initial modules were deployed in Hall Five at the EvoSwitch facility in Amsterdam. EvoSwitch Managing Director Eric Boonstra sees DataXenter as an extension of EvoSwitch’s focus on efficiency and sustainability.

“Instead of building huge data halls, we build modular,” said Boonstra. “By building modular, I also have intelligent finance – build only what you need, when you need it.”

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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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