Microsoft announces plans for three Athens data centres
Standing in the elegantly (and ironically) spartan halls of the Acropolis museum, surrounded by the treasures of the past, Microsoft president, Brad Smith, and Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, jointly announced their plan to help secure the future of the country’s digital economy.
At the ceremony, which was held earlier this week, that - following months of negotiations - the US tech giant will invest a significant sum into the construction of three new data centres in Athens, as part of its GR for GRowth initiative. While the exact costs to Microsoft, as well as the specifications of the data centres in question, have not been released, the Greek government has said it expects the facilities to have a positive economic impact on the Athens economy in the realm of $1bn.
“Today’s commitment to the people and businesses of Greece will position the country among the digital leaders of Europe. A Microsoft datacenter region provides a competitive advantage to our digital economy,” said Mitsotakis.
The investment, according to Smith, is the largest Microsoft has made in Greece during the 28 years the company has been operating there. He added that, “this large investment reflects our optimism about Greece’s future, its forward-leaning government, and the country’s ongoing economic recovery.”
As a result of the three new data centres, Athens will become part of a new wave of Azure cloud regions that Microsoft is rolling out across Europe. There is currently only one Azure cloud region in Southern Europe, located in Marseille. In May, Microsoft to establish Azure infrastructure in Italy, as well as a $1bn investment in a Polish Azure region in the same month.
The company has now announced a total of 62 Azure cloud regions around the world, with Azure itself available to customers in more than 140 countries. In Greece itself, Microsoft has already lined up a roster of clients including some of the biggest firms in the country’s financial sector. Alongside the announcement, the company also revealed that , , Group, , and had all “expressed their intent” to use Microsoft Cloud services when they come online.
Microsoft also notes that the new Athens data centres will be constructed in accordance with the company’s plans to be carbon negative by 2030, with the upcoming milestone of a shift to 100% renewable energy used in its data centres by 2025.
NKG1 opens BDx Nanjing data centre campus
Big Data Exchange (BDx), a pan-Asian data centre company has launched its Nanjing data centre campus in China with the opening of its first facility, NKG1. The company said they “celebrated” the launch of the campus, located in the Yangtze River Delta, one of the nation's richest regions and its largest import and export base.
Following its certificate of completion from the Urban and Rural Construction Bureau of Jiangning District in Nanjing City, the NKG1 campus is “now serving customers”. Construction on the Nanjing campus began in February last year.
"We worked through the challenges of completing a major construction project during the peak of the pandemic because customers were anticipating this launch to support an unprecedented surge of growth and capacity requirements”, said Bill Gao, EVP & Chief Executive Officer of BDx Greater China.
"The launch of NKG1 enables BDx to have new world-class data centre infrastructure in China. It also lays a solid foundation for BDx to provide OTTs, financial services institutions, and Fortune 500 MNC customers with high reliability, high redundancy, and low latency solutions”, he added.
What does the NKG1 data centre include?
According to BDx, the NKG1 facility is the first data centre in the city to earn the Uptime Institute Tier III Certification of Design Documents and offers 4MW of IT power for colocation. NKG1 is powered by two separate 10-kilovolt feeders from two substations that aim to provide the NKG campus with 60MVA of total power sanctioned from the grid.
During COVID-19, BDx says that its design and construction team focused on safety to ensure that the project was completed safely and without incident. This enabled the company to add critical capacity to this region and respond to the accelerated shift to digital environments that caused a surge in demand for data center services. “Research shows that demand hasn't dropped as the economy reopens”, BDx said.
The launch of NKG2
Due to rising demand in China’s data centre market, BDx plans to launch the second phase of its Nanjing campus, NKG2, by the end of this year. “NKG2 is designed to be minimally manned and almost lights-out — a reigning philosophy across BDx's data center cluster. In addition, its highly automated features make for a more sustainable data center environment”, the company said.