Datapipe Goes Modular With Verne in Iceland

Managed hosting provider Datapipe will be the first tenant in Verne Global's new data center in Iceland, deploying customer servers in a factory-built modular design housed within a former NATO command center.

Rich Miller

October 5, 2011

3 Min Read
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Managed hosting provider Datapipe will be the first tenant in Verne Global's new data center in Iceland, deploying customer servers in a factory-built modular design housed within a former NATO command center.

The combination of a modular design and the Iceland location provide Datapipe with an unusual trifecta - a highly energy efficient facility, powered entirely by renewable energy, with stable energy pricing.

“Verne Global has engineered an environmentally sustainable data centre that will enable Datapipe to expand into a new market while continuing our environmental leadership,” said Robb Allen, CEO of Datapipe. “Power and cooling efficiencies combined with the strategic geographic location will provide our clients with an option for carbon neutral, enterprise ready IT services and a 100% green cloud.”

Major Milestone for Verne
The opening of the facility at Kevlavik, Iceland is a major milestone for Verne Global, the UK-based developer that has been the leading advocate for Iceland as a potential data center mecca. "We have been systematically setting the stage for the data center industry to take advantage of Iceland's attributes," said Jeff Monroe, the CEO of Verne Global.

“The industry continues to move toward environmentally sustainable solutions to power data centers," said Monroe. "The source, availability and cost of power remain one of the primary concerns for data centre operators around the globe. Verne Global addresses these concerns for our customers by bringing the benefit of dual-sourced, 100% renewable and affordable power to the European and North American data centre markets."

Iceland's location was a key consideration for Datapipe, according to Sean McAvan, Vice President of EMEA Sales for Datapipe.

Ideal Location, Energy Profile
"It sits between two of our key markets, in New York and London," said McAvan. "The connectivity to Western Europe is excellent. It really makes Iceland an attractive and unique location for clients in New York and London. For some, it may be possible to have one disaster recovery facility in Iceland (that serves both locations)."

Datapipe is based in Jersey City, NJ, and provides managed services to enterprise companies, with many customers in the financial services and pharmaceutical industries. The company has more than 1,500 customers in six data centers and eight office locations in the United States, the UK and China.

McAvan said Iceland’s ready supply of renewable energy (hydroelectric and geothermal) was also a major draw, along with a climate that allows extensive use of outside air for free cooling.

"We have long-standing commitment to the ethical sourcing of power, because we think it's the right thing to do," said McAvan. "The low carbon footprint in Iceland was attractive to us."

Colt Supplies Modular Data Halls
Datapipe's equipment will be deployed in a modular data center designed and built by Colt in its UK factory and shipped to Verne's site in Iceland. Twelve separate modules are assembled to create a 500 square meter (5,400 square foot) data hall. The module is housed inside a large structure on Verne's 45-acre campus in Kevlavik on the site of the former Naval Air Station Keflavik, a key strategic NATO base for over 50 years.

Verne Global turned to Colt for modular data halls, which allow Verne to gain rapid entry into the global colocation business. While Colt provides managed hosting services from its modular facilities, in this case it is selling customized modular data halls to Verne, which will manage them for customers .

"This is not a container,"said Chris Grant, the Director of Data Centre Services at Colt. "It appears as a single 500 square meter data center. One of the beauties here is that every component has been tested and shrink-wrapped."

"The modular approach works very well," said Datapipe's McAvan. "The modular approach gives us the comfort level that we can continue to acquire clients and build gradually. We know there's a lot of interest in hosting in Iceland. We think by deploying first, we can run tests for clients that will generate additional interest."

"We believe the site in Iceland will be a very large site for us," he said.

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