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Google opens cool Finnish data centre

13 Sep 2011

Google has opened a huge data centre in Hamina, Finland, saying the cooler climate will help keep the facility’s energy costs down, and thus reduce its impact on the environment.

The data centre is housed in a former paper mill, which closed down in 2008, largely as a result of the move to digital media. Google has converted the mill’s seawater-based cooling system to keep its servers at optimum temperature.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, data centres accounted for 1.5% of the globe’s electricity consumption last year. With internet traffic set to quadruple in the next five years, keeping data centres cool efficiently is a big challenge for hosting providers, and the IT industry.

In June, Gartner advised that New Zealand would make an ideal data centre location for the Asia-Pacific region due to its environmentally friendly electricity sources. Google’s move suggests our cooler climate could also be a strong selling point, even though it doesn't quite match Hamina's yearly average of just two degrees Celsius.

Go here to watch a video about Google’s Hamina centre.