The companies partner to launch the Lefdal Mine Datacenter, revolutionizing the data storage and colocation industry.
Norway’s Lefdal Mine Datacenter (LMD), which opened in May 2017, represents a revolution in data storage and colocation. The LMD, a collaboration between Rittal, IBM and the government of Norway, is a game-changer in data storage. It represents the most cost-effective, secure, flexible, and green datacenter in Europe.
Rittal provides the LMD’s preconfigured, modular and scalable infrastructure. IBM Norway has arrived as the first data storage client, offering their Resiliency Services. iNNOVO Cloud, a German cloud provider, will be one of the first customers to move in with high density IT containers. The first installation is up and running and serving both Norwegian and international clients with a cloud portfolio that includes high-performance computing.
The Lefdal mine once yielded olivine — a mineral used in the production of aluminum and steel —but its days of mining are past. The LMD’s present and future lies entirely in data storage and colocation. The vast facility is situated beside a long, deep fjord that provides cold water for inexpensive cooling.
The LMD currently consists of five levels and can be expanded to as many 14. It contains approximately 1.3 million square feet of storage space. A paved road winds its spiral way down through tunnels that are 45 feet wide and nearly 30 feet high. Any one of the five levels “could host all the servers in Norway,” Mats Andersson, the LMD's chief marketing officer, told Think Progress.
Rittal Partners in the Norwegian Datacenter Revolution
The LMD sets new standards for the datacenter industry. At the completion of Phase 1, the LMD had a cooling capacity of 45 MW. By using power generated by wind, wave, and hydroelectric sources, as well as inexpensive cooling from the nearby fjord, LMD has set new standards in low cost energy efficiency.
At the facility's opening, Karl-Ulrich Köhler, PhD, CEO of Rittal International, said: “The ongoing digital transformation will undoubtedly lead to higher demand of datacenter capacity and in consequence to highly efficient industrialization of datacenter infrastructure and services, in other words—intelligent standardization. We are a strong believer and experts of highly
efficient industrialization. This is in the DNA of our company since 1961, the year Rittal was founded.”
Europe’s Greenest Most Flexible and Scalable Datacenter
Located on the west coast of Norway, the 120,000-square meter datacenter runs exclusively on renewable energy for both power and cooling. This cooling method makes air conditioning immediately obsolete. Air conditioning can consume as much as half of the power used by conventional data storage farms. The LMD system achieves a power usage effectiveness that is less than 1.15. The ambient temperature in the mine is steady at 46 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, which improves server cooling.
The LMD is uniquely flexible in terms of available space and its variety of technical solutions. The large space and capacity allows for cost-effective, scalable solutions. LMD has the potential to fill it entire space, which includes 120.000-square meters, with servers and support it with more than 200 MW of IT capacity. By partnering with Rittal, servers can be delivered fully preinstalled in enclosures. This enables customers to establish a “pay as you grow” model, with no risk of paying for capacity that is not needed.
“We can facilitate all known concepts for white space solutions and the facility structure allows a streamlined solution for containers in different shapes and sizes including customized power density, temperature, humidity, and operational equipment. Thanks to our technology partners Rittal and IBM for their contribution along the entire build-out process, and for providing their global leading solutions and services into our ecosystem,” Jørn Skaane explained in an interview. Mr. Skaane is CEO at the LMD.
As the fourth industrial revolution calls for flexible IT resources, Rittal’s standardized datacenter designs and containers allow the fast, flexible implementation of scalable IT infrastructures within six weeks.
The LMD is one of Europe’s most secure datacenters with data protected within secure mountain halls that are electromagnetic pulse resistant. The facility has access from two single points of entry, offering a high level of natural security and access control. The design and documentation of infrastructure installations are highly confidential as there is specially trained security staff onsite at all times. Hence, it meets all Tier III requirements for security.
“The Lefdal Mine Datacenter project is impressively demonstrating how convenient it can be to establish a secure, efficient and cost-effective datacenter in a very short time. This solution’s high degree of standardization combined with the location advantages of the western coast of Norway result in an excellent TCO analysis. Significant cost savings of up to 40% can be achieved compared to a cloud datacenter for example in Germany,” Dr. Köhler explained.