EdgeConneX enters Spanish market with 7,600sqm facility
US data centre operator EdgeConneX is building a new, carrier-neutral facility just outside Barcelona. The data centre, which is scheduled to come online in Q4 of this year, represents EdgeConneX’s first foray into the Spanish market, a move made in response to perceived demand growth for “essential, local, cloud and content access as well as highly secure server colocation in a carbon neutral facility employing renewable energy strategies.”
The Barcelona facility will occupy 7,600 square metres of IT whitespace and have a total capacity of 8 MW upon completion.
Courtesy of EdgeConneX
EdgeConneX has reportedly secured a “global IT services provider and systems integrator” as its first anchor tenant, but added that it is still looking to attract additional customer to the facility in preparation for the upcoming launch.
"We are continuing our push to bring the Edge closer to those that need it most, where they need it most. It's a client centric philosophy that runs companywide and takes us to places like Barcelona where we, alongside our technology partners and community leaders, can have an immediate and positive impact on overall business opportunity and edge market growth," commented Dick Theunissen, Managing Director, EMEA, at EdgeConneX.
Barcelona’s size and position on the Mediterranian coast - close to a critical subsea cable landing station like Marseilles, which is one of the planned stop-off points for the massive 2Africa cable system currently in development, among others - make it an ideal candidate for edge data centre investment.
According to Daniel Bizo, a senior research analyst at 451 Research, as "the second largest city in Spain, Barcelona has become a digital hotspot for communications and technological innovation in Spain.
He adds that, “Recent investments in subsea cable projects and additional data center capacity have placed Barcelona, like Madrid, on a trajectory that, if sustained, will elevate the metro's position from that of a local hub to one of much greater significance in the global network of digital infrastructure."
NUS and NTU launch cooling project for tropical data centres
The National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), have announced a project in an attempt to source and develop new cooling solutions for data centres located in tropical areas. According to the companies, the programme costs S$23mn (US$17.1mn) and plans to research, build and test innovative and sustainable cooling solutions.
The Sustainable Tropical Data Centre Testbed (STDCT)
The NUS and NTU say that the Sustainable Tropical Data Centre Testbed (STDCT) will act as a research point and innovation hub for the project. Facebook, along with the National Research Foundation Singapore (NRF), is also involved, providing funding for the programme. Further support from other partners includes the Infocomm Media Development Authority, Ascenix, CoolestDC Keppel Data Centres, Red Dot Analytics, and New Media Express.
Commenting on working with the companies, Facebook Vice President of Infrastructure, Alex Johnson, said: “We are excited about the opportunity to partner NUS, NTU, Keppel Data Centres and the CoolestSG community to develop innovative solutions that reduce the carbon footprint and energy consumption of the average data centre, particularly those located in tropical areas like Singapore”.
The NTU and NUS highlight that Singapore houses 60% of Southeast Asia’s total data centre market, and aims to supply 12% of the country’s total energy needs by 2030. This results in the need to reduce the carbon footprints and power consumption of data centres, meaning more innovative cooling solutions are required, the NTU and NUS said.
Professor Chen Thuan, Deputy President of Research & Technology at the NUS, said: “Data centres are a critical enabler of the digital economy, but the average data centre can exert a significant environmental burden. Aligned with RIE 2025, sustainability is a key research focus of NUS, and our researchers have deep expertise in developing integrated solutions for tropical, urban and Asian settings”.
How will the Sustainable Tropical Data Centre Testbed (STDCT) help to provide cooling solutions?
According to the NUS and NTU, the STDCT will be built using equipment such as a novel desiccant-coated heat exchanger and a StatePoint Liquid Cooling System (SPLC) designed by both Nortek Air Solutions and Facebook. The institutions also say they will adopt chip-level hybrid cooling to ensure servers remain cool.
Furthermore, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) will aim to manage the “smart operations” of the technologies so that the data centres are water and power efficient, as well as able to preserve equipment and servers.
The NTU and NSU said in a joint statement the combination of the cooling technologies could reduce energy consumption “significantly” and greenhouse gas emissions by up to 25%, compared to traditional air-cooled data centres. If adopted industry-wide across the entire tropical region, the energy usage of the data centre industry could potentially be lowered by at least 40%”, the companies said.
The STDCT is expected to be operational by 1 October 2021.