Iceland: Calm, Cool, Collected by Tate Cantrell
With energy costs fluctuating and going up more than down,
and data centers consuming a tremendous amount of energy there is a real need
in the market for a solution that reduces energy and drives down overall
cost. Data centers have
historically required large, expensive chilling systems to keep all of the
equipment at a regulated temperature.
Now more than ever, companies are scrambling to find ways to reduce
dependencies on the status quo and become more energy efficient all
As this issue continues to become more and more vital, some companies are finding the answer to their power consumption worries exceedingly simple here in Iceland. While not a destination for spring breakers seeking warmer climes, Iceland is the perfect environment for 100% free cooling, 365 days of the year. The mean annual temperature is -0.5°C (30°F) in January and 10°C (50°F) in July. Iceland is very much its own cooling system, standing by to draw the heat right out the computer servers.
Other than just serving as a natural refrigerator, Iceland’s
environment also provides some less publicized advantages that greatly benefit
our customers at Verne Global.
Using power generated by Iceland’s very accessible pockets of
underground steam, we are able to utilize an extremely inexpensive source of
electricity. As some data centers
struggle to accommodate power densities as low as four to five kilowatts per
rack – with high cooling costs – ours can handle 15-20 kW, thanks to good old
Mother Nature. With a continuous supply of naturally chilled water, Iceland can
also accommodate next generation water cooling for higher density data center
racks simply and inexpensively making it perfectly suited for a direct
All in all, there are a number of ways companies can utilize this environment to drastically reduce their electricity bill. As companies adopt greener practices for financial and societal reasons, it’s easy to see why Iceland might be finding its niche as a cool spot for green IT.
About Tate Cantrell
Tate Cantrell is the Chief Technology Officer of Verne Global. Tate's primary responsibilities include product design and development and data center operations. Prior to Verne Global, Mr. Cantrell acted as Vice President, Data Center Technologies, at Dupont Fabros Technology. He was responsible for development and execution of operational strategies critical to the start-up of the Dupont Fabros Development Wholesale Data Center business model, the first of its kind in the industry. Mr Cantrell also provided technical support for marketing and key business strategy expansion opportunities, and directed and managed strategy for all IT systems. Mr. Cantrell has been involved in data centers and other high tech facilities for more than 15 years, starting as a research programmer for computational modeling on biomedical applications.