Provider Spotlight: DigiPlex shines in Nordic DC market
This week, Nordic data centre colocation company DigiPlex opened a new 3MW data centre in Lillestrøm, Norway . The 2,200 square meter facility is part of an ongoing expansion across the country.
The company now has two data centres operational in Lillestrøm, with another under construction, as well as currently operational sites. The is a 4,200 square meter facility with 10 MW of capacity which came online in 2015.
"We are seeing increased demand from both our enterprise customers who continue to move their digital infrastructure from on-premise solutions into combinations of colocation and cloud, as well as from the largest IT companies in the world, so-called hyperscalers, looking to capitalise on the advantages of placing their data centres in the Nordics,” commented on Tuesday.
The Nordic data centre market is one of the most mature, sustainable and competitive in the world. Abundant supplies of renewable energy, which translates to low energy pricing, and one of the highest levels of political and economic stability in the world have made the region an attractive destination for data centre operators for decades.
“The Nordics have the potential to evolve as a truly global data hub, connecting Europe to North America and Asia,” commented , in response to the report. At its current growth rate, the region is expected to achieve a yearly installed capacity between 280MW and 580MW per year.
One of the report’s lead authors, , added that “cloud and hyperscale companies such as Facebook, Google, Amazon Web Services and Apple have made major investments in Nordic data centres recently. Our report shows that the Nordics meet all key criteria for site selection, ranging from reliable, renewable energy to world class fibre optic infrastructure.”
Competition in the region, which is made up of Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Denmark and Finland, is understandably fierce.
In July, analysis and research consulting firm ISG released its of the hybrid cloud and data centre colocation market in the Nordics. The report identified Norwegian provider as a market leader, naming it "one of the most attractive brand names in data centre colocation in the Nordics"
DigiPlex has been operating since 2000, initially as a small scale data centre provider. More recently, however, the entry of hyperscale players into Sweden, Denmark and Norway in particular has driven the company to embrace larger projects.
"In the past few years we have rapidly transformed our business to meet the evolving needs of hyperscalers looking to come to the Nordic region, as well as cloud-first local and international businesses looking for well connected, secure and sustainable data centre solutions,” commented .
The company has managed to produce customer satisfaction and loyalty scores on a Netigate customer survey that , and the company is currently shortlisted for four accolades from the which emphasise its environment, social and governance achievements.
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.