Iron Mountain expands UK footprint with 27 MW data centre
Iron Mountain, a US-based data centre and secure storage services firm, is expanding its EMEA presence with a new data centre located in Slough, England.
The facility, LON-2, will have a total IT capacity of 27 MW upon full buildout, and is Iron Mountain’s second data centre in the London area. The new facility will approximately triple the full buildout capacity of LON-1.
The announcement closely follows Iron Mountain’s recent 4 MW expansion of its LON-1 data centre, which added two 2 MW data halls to the existing site - also located in the Slough Trading Estate in London - in response to what Eric Boonstra, Vice President and General Manager, Europe at Iron Mountain Data Centres, called “high demand” in a “highly connected market”.
LON-2 is a three storey facility with a total footprint of 25,000 square metres. The data centre itself comprises three identical server halls across three floors of the main site building. Each hall has a capacity of 9 MW and each is individually equipped with N+2 redundancy.
The new facility, like the rest of Iron Mountain’s global portfolio, will reportedly be powered by 100% renewable energy acquired through the company’s Green Power Pass Solution. A first-of-its-kind offering in the data centre industry, Green Power Pass has been used by Iron Mountain to secure 100% renewable energy for its facilities since 2017, and gives any of the company’s colocation customers “ the ability to include the power they consume at any Iron Mountain data centre as green power in their CDP, RE100, GRI, or other sustainability reporting.”
Earlier this year, Iron Mountain also became the world’s first data centre operator to begin tracking hourly energy consumption across its facilities in order to increase the accuracy with which it matches its energy consumption with green power purchasing. The move, according to Chris Pennington, Global Energy Manager at Iron Mountain Data “is ultimately the path needed to decarbonise energy use.”
Boonstra added in a statement to the press that “Like other Iron Mountain data centres, our Slough data centres are well-suited for Enterprise, Hyperscale and Cloud organisations seeking a highly interconnected data centre partner with industry-leading compliance and security.”
Iron Mountain’s global platform comprises 15 facilities currently operating across 13 markets and three continents. The company - which is probably most famous for its hyper-secure data storage bunker located in a repurposed limestone mine, 220 feet below the surface of Western Pennsylvania - is also in the process of a massive expansion into the Indian data centre market as part of a $150mn joint venture with Indian data centre operator Web Werks.
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.