Verne Global Orders More Modules for its Iceland Data Center


A Colt data center module being moved into its home at the Verne Global data center in Iceland. Verne has ordered additional modules for an expansion of its data center near Reykjavik. (Photo:Colt)

There will be soon be more modular data centers loaded onto ships and heading for Iceland. Data center developer Verne Global has selected Colt’s ftec modular data centre for an expansion of its facility in Keflavik, Iceland. The modules will be fabricated at Colt’s manufacturing facility in northern England, and then shipped to Iceland in May and assembled onsite and ready to go live in the third quarter of 2013.

The Verne Global facility, built in a former NATO command center, takes advantage of Iceland’s vast supply of renewable energy (hydroelectric and geothermal), along with a cool climate that allows the use of air-side free cooling for the entire year. Colt customized its modular data center hall design, equipping it with cooling modules that allow Verne to cool servers using air from outside the data center. In winter months, the system gives Verne the option of mixing the chilly outside air with exhaust heat from servers.

Existing tenants at Verne Global include automaker BMW and managed hosting provider Datapipe. The company says demand remains strong, prompting the need for the additional modules.

“As cloud, mobile and big data applications drive organixations to look for cutting edge solutions for their data storage needs, interest in our Icelandic facility continues to gain momentum and we find ourselves needing to expand our current footprint,” said Jeff Monroe, CEO for Verne Global. “Our partnership with Colt allows for flexible and rapid expansion of our business with a superior product that meets our specific requirements.”

Focus on Flexible Design, Phased Growth

Colt’s ftec design, introduced in November, is the latest version of the UK company’s modular data center. It uses a standardized, reusable design that can deliver excellent energy efficiency. Colt introduced its modular offering in 2010, offering more than 120 design variations and the ability to deliver modules to either a Colt facility or customer-owned site. With ftec – with the “f” emphasizing the flexibility of the product – Colt has introduced features to further reduce risk and deploy capacity efficiently, particularly when the data center is in low load.

“By putting flexibility right at the heart of our data centres both in the design phase and throughout the life cycle, we achieve market-leading cost savings for customers in terms of energy efficiency and an unrivaled time to market of less than four months,” said Guy Ruddock, Vice President of Design and Delivery for Colt. “In the case of Verne Global’s campus, we’ve specifically customized our design to fully harness Iceland’s fresh air cooling which is available 365 days a year. This, coupled with the unique 100 percent renewable, dual sourced power supplying the data centre hall, provides industry leading efficiency and reliability.”

The initial phase of the Verne Global, deployment involved moving a 5,000 square foot data center nearly 1,000 miles across the ocean? Colt loaded 13 of its factory-built modules onto a container ship, which sailed them from northern England to Reykjavik. This video provides an overview of the logistics involved in this unusual deployment.

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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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