Iceland attraction for data centres

Wednesday 11th April 2012
View of Colt equipment at the Verne Global Data Centre, Iceland

In February this year Verne Global, London-based developer of data centres opened its Iceland data centre cannouncing that CCP Games the developers and the creator of EVE Online, was to move some of its London corporate hosting to Vern's data centre campus in the Ásbrú Enterprise Park in Iceland. The appeal may be in using renewable energy, but the power pull is energy price.

After a careful study of alternatives to its London primary facility, CCP  identified Verne Global as a very attractive hosting option; based on the site's 100% dual sourced renewable power grid, long-term power price visibility and strategic location between its two primary markets.

"Our location in Iceland is ideal for progressive, international companies like CCP, that have significantpresence in both the European and North American markets and also want better visibility over the cost of powering their data centre operations," said (left) Jeff Monroe, CEO of Verne Global. "Verne Global has the scale, density and programmes in place to support any company's hosting requirements, from kilowatts to megawatts."

Verne Global is one of three data centre organisations which include Thordc acquired in 2011 by Iceland’s leading Information Technology (IT) company, Skýrr, securing 3.2MW from HS Orku in Suðurnes for data centre operations but able to receive up to 19.2MW if necessary as well as the real estate developer Greenstone

Verne Global follows along other Iceland cloud computing and storage players  such as Greenqloud which quotes prices at $0.015/hr or $10.95/month for computing and at $0.14GB/month for storage.

Iceland power is primarily renewable, coming from either glacier-fed rivers or steaming geothermal vents. Data centres use between 1.7% and 2.2 % of US produced power and are the fastest-growing source of electricity consumption globally.

By 2020, data centres could be drawing 1,300 TWh of electricity yearly, or four times 2007 levels.
Iceland expects a share of this market and Invest in Iceland  , the Reykjavik government-funded agency  estimates that Verne's data centre, largest of the three on the island, could create up to 100 jobs for Icelanders.


Iceland already has three fiber-optic links to North America, Scotland, and Denmark, and is involved in plans to lay a new 100Gbps. A significant portion of the marine cable route survey has already been completed with the balance to be conducted in 2012, supporting the Emerald Express  system to be ready for service in late 2013.

The system consists of a high capacity connection to Iceland, enabling ultra-low latency connections to Europe and North America, with future expansion provided by a stubbed Branching Unit,  positioned off Ireland for direct connectivity into Portugal along a great circular path stretching 6,700kms from New York to Canada, with a branch to Iceland.  

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