Is the Netherlands the new server hub?
According to a Dutch newspaper report, a massive new server farm is being built in the Eemshaven (Eems harbor) and will be able to store 100,000 servers and will have access to 30 megawatts of power, mostly coming from a huge power plant that is just a stone’s throw from the new proposed server farm. As a comparison, we have heard (not confirmed) Level 3 uses around 40 megawatts of power in all its server farms.
The server farm is pretty close to the Amsterdam Internet Exchange, one of the largest Internet exchanges in the world, and has direct connections to the U.S. The report suggests that Google might be one of the main tenants at this new server farm, even though they are big customers of the Zernike server complex in nearby Groningen City.
The new server farm and its location is part of a larger industry trend: locate data centers close to locations with access to cheap power. Power is viewed as a major bottleneck in the web infrastrucure. Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are spending billions in the Pacific Northwest to build out their web infrastructure. Google also inked a deal to build out a big data center in North Carolina for pretty much the same reasons – power.
Hat tip, Vincent Dekker via The Cook Report.
16 thoughts on “Dutch Super Server Farm and Google”
Om – I find these types of stories about the “hidden” parts of the Internet very interesting. Please keep them coming.
With Matt on this one, really like hearing about the background of the web as well as the more glitzy stuff.
Google is also building a big server farm in Oregon. Power, proximity to ocean (to connect directly to optical fibers) and land prices being some of the main reasons.
Link to the WIRED article which talks about the Google server farm in Oregon…
It is said that 75% of the capacity has already been rented. Power seems indeed the deciding factor. In addition to the current power plant, two more power plants are planned nearby and a submarine high-voltage cable to Norway will also be built. More inforation about the park can be found at http://www.groningen-seaports.com/energyparkenglish.php
The URL in my previous post should have an underscore before and after ‘park’.
I don’t know if its an urban myth, but there is a story going round that a Second Life avatar consumes more energy than the average “First Life” human
The AMS-IX isn’t one of the largest exchanges, it’s THE largest.
NC publicly said $100M (leaked); actual benefit closer to one-quarter of $1B. Not Bad.
“After Google’s $260 million deal, Senate leader wants examination of how state uses incentives”
This is interesting, but what about backup power? Do they have a battery system? is this all powered with DC systems, or to the have a genset to fill in in potential times of need. The power system is not infallible – yet we expect our networks to be.
All these datacentre’s are build by SIG Real Estate in Groningen.
It seems there are a few reasons why Google is interested in this region:
Last reason is very important too it seems.
This is a url to how the datacentre looks:
In Google Earth you can find the powerplant on location:
Google should be nearby.
With that amount of server power running, I hope Google considers energy saving and environmental issues a top priority. Siting is definitely one of the most important factors that affect the energy consumption and environmental effects of a server farm. There are places with cooler climates than in the Netherlands and with more green electricity available. I would recommend anybody considering siting a datacenter to take a look at the Finnish website on these issues: http://www.fincloud.freehostingcloud.com/