Blog Post

Dutch Super Server Farm and Google

Is the Netherlands the new server hub?

According to a Dutch newspaper report, a massive new server farm is being built in the Eemshaven (Eems harbor) and will be able to store 100,000 servers and will have access to 30 megawatts of power, mostly coming from a huge power plant that is just a stone’s throw from the new proposed server farm. As a comparison, we have heard (not confirmed) Level 3 uses around 40 megawatts of power in all its server farms.

The server farm is pretty close to the Amsterdam Internet Exchange, one of the largest Internet exchanges in the world, and has direct connections to the U.S. The report suggests that Google might be one of the main tenants at this new server farm, even though they are big customers of the Zernike server complex in nearby Groningen City.

The new server farm and its location is part of a larger industry trend: locate data centers close to locations with access to cheap power. Power is viewed as a major bottleneck in the web infrastrucure. Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are spending billions in the Pacific Northwest to build out their web infrastructure. Google also inked a deal to build out a big data center in North Carolina for pretty much the same reasons – power.

Hat tip, Vincent Dekker via The Cook Report.

16 Responses to “Dutch Super Server Farm and Google”

  1. Pete Lundin

    With that amount of server power running, I hope Google considers energy saving and environmental issues a top priority. Siting is definitely one of the most important factors that affect the energy consumption and environmental effects of a server farm. There are places with cooler climates than in the Netherlands and with more green electricity available. I would recommend anybody considering siting a datacenter to take a look at the Finnish website on these issues:

  2. All these datacentre’s are build by SIG Real Estate in Groningen.

    It seems there are a few reasons why Google is interested in this region:

    • cheap power;
    • the location is well above sealevel (large part of the netherlands are not) although it is actually almost near the sea;
    • availability of a supercable (through the ocean) that Tycom provided.

    Last reason is very important too it seems.

    This is a url to how the datacentre looks:

    In Google Earth you can find the powerplant on location:

    LAT 53°26’4.18″N
    LON 6°52’40.07″E

    Google should be nearby.

  3. This is interesting, but what about backup power? Do they have a battery system? is this all powered with DC systems, or to the have a genset to fill in in potential times of need. The power system is not infallible – yet we expect our networks to be.