Moving to significantly expand the breath and scope of networking services available in its data center facilities in Iceland, Verne Global today announced a strategic alliance with carrier Level 3 Communications to improve data center connectivity at its campus.
Under terms of the alliance, Verne Global CTO Tate Cantrell said, the provider of hosting facilities primarily in Europe will now be able to offer customers access to Tier I carrier services.
“We also have a 45-acre campus on a former NATO base that enables submarine cables to terminate directly in our data center," said Cantrell. “But this alliance represents a new stage of connectivity being added to our campus.”
Sundeep Samra, product strategy manager for data center and content delivery networks at Level 3, said the carrier's data center connectivity services will include everything from CDN capabilities to complete managed network services for Verne customers.
Verne raised $98 million to expand its Iceland data center campus early this year.
The company has been making the case for hosting applications in its data center facilities because of access to inexpensive hyrdro-electric power provided by a vast network of dams initially built to support the smelting of aluminium, and cool climate that enables use of free cooling year-round. According to Cantrell, access to those energy resources enable Verne to guarantee low-cost energy contracts for as long as 20 years.
While Iceland itself is subject to volcanic activity, the NATO facility is built on the side of the island facing west. This means volcanic ash from any eruption generally blows east toward Europe, rather than toward Verne's data centers.
Because Iceland is part of Europe, Verne data centers are certified to meet all European certifications for security and privacy, Cantrell said. Most customers there seek out Verne for less expensive sources of power than what is typically available in the rest of the continent.
Data sovereignty regulations are also making Verne a more attractive option for companies looking to expand into European markets, said Cantrell. He also noted that regulations such as the US Patriot Act tend to push European companies looking to do business in the US to data centers in close proximity to North America but outside of the reach of US jurisprudence.
Of course, Iceland is not the only country where data centers operate in and around the Arctic Circle; but it does have a local government that is highly committed to providing low tax rates for investments in strategic industries such as data centers. The degree to which Verne can convert all those attributes into a thriving hosting industry remains to be seen. However, with support from a Tier I carrier such as Level 3, the odds of making that transition have just improved.