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Nordic Nations Pitch For US Data Centers

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the troll-protected dept.

Power 130

judgecorp writes "Nordic nations are all pitching for business from data centre owners, based on their countries' excellent network provision, plentiful electricity from renewable sources, and a climate where servers can be kept cool cheaply, using the ambient air temperature, with no need for chillers. A Swedish delegation is visiting California to lure other players to follow Facebook into Sweden. Meanwhile, Iceland now has a new multi-tenant data centre to join the existing Thor site, and Denmark has a container-park data centre for its financial industry."

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130 comments

Iceland??? (4, Funny)

maroberts (15852) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145437)

I'd be more worried about server crashes due to hot magma than cooling!

Re:Iceland??? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39145467)

Hot magma gives you cheap geothermal energy that you can then use for cooling :)

Sweden???!!! (3, Informative)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145555)

I'd be more worried about data breaches and server seizures due to their crazy politicians [thedailybeast.com] , crazy justice system! [thelocal.se] and willingness to bend over for all manner of privacy invading measures [falkvinge.net] to satisfy foreign interests. It will be a hot day in Iceland before we move any servers to Sweden. Go Iceland!

Re:Sweden???!!! (4, Insightful)

Corbets (169101) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145753)

I'd be more worried about data breaches and server seizures due to their crazy politicians [thedailybeast.com] , crazy justice system! [thelocal.se] and willingness to bend over for all manner of privacy invading measures [falkvinge.net] to satisfy foreign interests. It will be a hot day in Iceland before we move any servers to Sweden. Go Iceland!

You have to be careful trusting the Local for news. We have them in Switzerland too, same company, and all they do is poorly translate then over-sensationalize stories. Can't speak for the other sources, though.

Re:Sweden???!!! (1)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | more than 2 years ago | (#39149149)

Could be true. However there are quite a few other stories out there from other sources that appear to corroborate the same... (.e.g here [brokep.com] , translated in English [google.com] ) ...Sweden has a crazy, politically stacked Justice system.

Re:Sweden???!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39149953)

"Sweden has a crazy, politically stacked Justice system."

The US has no Hope anymore. Bob died a few years ago and Santorum doesn't even rhyme.

Re:Sweden???!!! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39145839)

It's comical how they treat Geert as some sort of Himmler instead of the hero he is. When Amsterdam has a Sharia district setup by the left so as to not "make Muslims feel different or ostracized from Mainstream Dutch life" we will panic and vote in 50 more of him but also 10 more that push that line of what is acceptable (i.e. deportation based on religion/ethnicity or even worse).

Re:Sweden???!!! (-1, Flamebait)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | more than 2 years ago | (#39146765)

It's comical how they treat Geert as some sort of Himmler instead of the hero he is. When Amsterdam has a Sharia district setup by the left so as to not "make Muslims feel different or ostracized from Mainstream Dutch life" we will panic and vote in 50 more of him but also 10 more that push that line of what is acceptable (i.e. deportation based on religion/ethnicity or even worse).

It's comical how they treat Himmler as some sort of Robespierre instead of the hero he is. When Berlin has a Kibbutz setup by the left so as to not "make Jews feel different or ostracized from Mainstream German life" we will panic and vote in 50 more of him but also 10 more that push that line of what is acceptable (i.e. deportation based on religion/ethnicity or even worse).

Re:Sweden???!!! (1)

bwayne314 (1854406) | more than 2 years ago | (#39146635)

I dont think they realize that with american data, will come american economic interests, which will inevitably bring american policy pressure and interference in their government.

Re:Sweden???!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39147185)

Except the U.S. has the Patriot Act which allows seizures of entire data centers regardless of innocent parties affected.

Re:Iceland??? (2)

maroberts (15852) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145565)

Yes, but I was more concerned about the "energy output" of volcanoes such as this lot [wikipedia.org] .

"Over the past 500 years, Iceland's volcanoes have erupted a third of the total global lava output"

Hot rocks and servers don't mix.

Re:Iceland??? (2)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | more than 2 years ago | (#39146869)

The geologically active zones are pretty well identified, and I've never heard of any of Iceland's hydroelectric dams being destroyed by earthquake or volcano. And you would hear if it happened, because it would be a major disaster -- some of those things hold enough water to sink the Netherlands.

Iceland is of a similar size to California, and it has one of the most geologically active land-based faultlines on the planet. Yet Silicon Valley is in California.

Re:Iceland??? (2)

amalek (615708) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145517)

I work with some of those guys. That DC is actually pretty epic - everything cooled naturally by the environment, built in England and shipped to Iceland, put together within a month.. a good job.

Re:Iceland??? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39145519)

Yes, better rely on the safety of California!

Re:Iceland??? (5, Informative)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145523)

That being the magma they use to generate around 25% of their power requirements via geothermal energy. The majority of the other 75% comes from hydroelectric. Less than 1% of their power comes from fossil fuels. They also use the geothermal energy for heating the vast majority of buildings in Iceland.

The average temperature is also bellow 15C, afaicr, which makes cooling things a doddle.

All things considered, I wouldn't mind living there. If their economy wasn't fucked.

Re:Iceland??? (1)

wisty (1335733) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145537)

So, wages aren't too high?

Re:Iceland??? (1)

maroberts (15852) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145547)

I would suspect that since the servers should all be accessible remotely you'd only require a few building maintenance and tech support guys there, so wages would not be the big issue.

Re:Iceland??? (1)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145561)

They've never been terribly high, from what I can tell. They're probably even lower now. It has a very small population too - the entire country fits in one phone book, iirc.

Re:Iceland??? (2)

jimshatt (1002452) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145655)

The entire country is less than 1 cm2 on my globe! A phone book is usually printed on A4 paper or some such, so that would fit EASILY.

Re:Iceland??? (4, Insightful)

ComaVN (325750) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145567)

If their economy wasn't fucked.

If Iceland's economy is fucked, I'd like to know where I can sign up my country's economy for a proper rogering.

Re:Iceland??? (5, Interesting)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145585)

Icelands economy has recovered nicely [independent.co.uk] . So well in fact that it is making Ireland, Portugal, and Greece jealous [independent.ie] .

Quote from last link:

ICELAND pursued better policies than Ireland or Latvia when the three countries' economies collapsed in 2007 because the Reykjavik government allowed banks to fail, according to a new report by the influential Bruegel think tank." ... "The experience with the collapse of the gigantic Icelandic banking system suggests that letting banks fail when they had a faulty business model can be the right choice," the report notes.

Re:Iceland??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39145623)

This. Especially since it's we the taxpaying citizen who are paying (in so many ways) to compensate for the greed of these arsehole bankers.

Re:Iceland??? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39145833)

Yep. Fuck taking on generations of debt to cover the gambling losses of bankers. Anything "too big to fail" should either be allowed to fail or be nationalized anyway. Capitalism doesn't work if investors have the profits without the risk.

Re:Iceland??? (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145873)

Awesome. However, Iceland compares with only *one* of the 6000 islands in Greece. There are probably more homeless vagrants in Athens than the total population of Iceland. It is really a quite inconsequential little rock.

Re:Iceland??? (5, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#39146027)

It wasn't quite "allowing the banks to fail" in the sense that the Icelandic equivalent of FDIC kicked in and the banks were nationalized, but the key thing was that Iceland spent absolutely no cash on trying to bail out holders of stocks and bonds. It's that combination of socialism and capitalism that is not uncommon in European nations: The socialism is enough to ensure that you'll survive. The capitalism means that if you're invested in a big bank, or a CEO who's made some dumb decisions, you take your losses.

Re:Iceland??? (1)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | more than 2 years ago | (#39146913)

It wasn't quite "allowing the banks to fail" in the sense that the Icelandic equivalent of FDIC kicked in and the banks were nationalized, but the key thing was that Iceland spent absolutely no cash on trying to bail out holders of stocks and bonds. It's that combination of socialism and capitalism that is not uncommon in European nations: The socialism is enough to ensure that you'll survive. The capitalism means that if you're invested in a big bank, or a CEO who's made some dumb decisions, you take your losses.

In Soviet Russia, new overlords welcome you.

Interestingly, your signature references "Soviet Russia". Iceland got a 4 billion Euro loan from Mother Russia. That helped. So did having a small population. It's much easier to fix problems when they are Iceland's than those of more populous countries like Greece and Portugal. Government officials in Portugal are actually encouraging Portuguese citizens to leave Portugal and move to their former colonies to find jobs. I don't think that's the kind of solution that most citizens are after.

Re:Iceland??? (2)

21mhz (443080) | more than 2 years ago | (#39148303)

Actually, when the push came to shove, Russia's finances were in a bad shape as well, so they refused [en.rian.ru] even a revised loan of $500 million.

Re:Iceland??? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39146043)

Note that this was probably not a conscious choice by the Icelandic government, but rather pure necessity. The Icelandic banks were considerably larger compared to their government than the Irish banks. With just 300.000 citizens and a large banking section, it was obvious from the beginning that the icelandic state had absolutely no chance of bailing out the banks.

Re:Iceland??? (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145853)

It sounds great when expressed in percentages. Iceland has almost no people and no industry. With a total population of about 300,000, the whole country compares poorly with a small town on the Canadian prairies and is too small for a single coal powered power station.

Re:Iceland??? (4, Informative)

Dave Whiteside (2055370) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145857)

the only main sticking point is that Iceland only has 3 data cables - Europe, Scotland and Greenland - though I think another is in the pipeline to the US / Canada

Re:Iceland??? (1)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145953)

I can't imagine that linking Iceland to Canada would be hard, especially if it already has a link to Greenland.

Re:Iceland??? (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | more than 2 years ago | (#39146929)

Data cables? Who needs data cables? Just put the data on the cloud!

(c)2012 Technology Management for Dummies

Re:Iceland??? (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 2 years ago | (#39147631)

We can access the cloud using WiFi and Bluetooth! Streamed synergized multimedia content played back with software rented from the integrated Web 2.0 cloud accessed over a wireless connection is the future!

Re:Iceland??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39145977)

All things considered, I wouldn't mind living there. If their economy wasn't fucked.

And if the language wasn't so difficult to learn.

Re:Iceland??? (3, Insightful)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145575)

Not only that, they also have to worry about elves. The hidden people are generally friendly but they do not like being disturbed. If the data center is build in one of their areas, they might curse the data. Perhaps they already have...think about Iceland's recent economic breakdown...

Re:Iceland??? (1)

Medievalist (16032) | more than 2 years ago | (#39147367)

You just have to get the trolls on your side, and you won't have anything to worry about from the elves. Trolls are highly reliable.

Re:Iceland??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39148503)

how about Quebec ? good tech base , and the cheapest electricity in the world (plus it's hydro so GREEN)

Innovative (4, Interesting)

alphatel (1450715) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145469)

This is a great way to avoid snooping by pesky authorities. Until 5 years from now when Sweden receives the largest request for unfettered access to its systems by all those liberal, invasive governments.

Re:Innovative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39145495)

Avoid snooping by your own authorities perhaps, if you're lucky, but certainly not from Swedish military and security forces.

Yup (5, Informative)

upside (574799) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145539)

As mentioned, the Swedes have declared all data passing through it free game for its security apparatus. Great for hosting your sensitive data.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_surveillance#Sweden [wikipedia.org]

Re:Yup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39145577)

As mentioned, the Swedes have declared all data passing through it free game for its security apparatus. Great for hosting your sensitive data.

If you don't know how to set up a secure VPN then perhaps you shouldn't handle sensitive data at all.

Re:Yup (4, Insightful)

TheInternetGuy (2006682) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145587)

>As mentioned, the Swedes have declared all data passing through it free game for its security apparatus.
Great for hosting your sensitive data.

Yup, but you are fooling your self if you don't think any other government is doing the same. And this data will most likely be shared with US agents if they come knocking, looking for something.

Re:Yup (3, Funny)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145709)

My government's IT people are far too incompetent and underfunded to manage to snoop on anything.

Re:Yup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39145927)

Thats why they outsource.

Re:Yup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39146061)

You got that right dawg! Brotha, what's all that messaging and shit about some warning on the screen?... Aww fuck it, let's play another game of dominoes nigga.

Re:Innovative (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145571)

Norway and Denmark are part of NATO and have held 'European Principals Meeting' and would be networked with aspects of the GCHQ/NSA.
If they where trusted with some of the ideas behind Sigdasys (a system to share military sigint in Europe in the 1980's) do you really think all that NSA/GCHQ contact stopped in 1991?
Sweden offered the UK airborne elint deals during the cold war.
The UK also worked very very well with a telco from Finland.
Your data is as safe from the NSA as it is with any US based telco - why pay for a cute Nordic setting when the US will peer it for near free :)

Re:Innovative (3, Insightful)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145601)

I think you confuse military cooperation with the possibility of industrial espionage. The two issues have nothing to do with each other. Just because you trust a network to handle shared military information doesn't mean you can or should trust the same network to handle trade secrets, financial information, or military state secrets.

Re:Innovative (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39145671)

Just because you trust a network to handle shared military information doesn't mean you can or should trust the same network to handle trade secrets, financial information, or military state secrets.

Shouldn't be a big problem. As far as I know none of the Nordic countries have a history of handing over snooped information to competing companies. The same can't be said for the U.S. (The Wikileaks documents have shown that CIA still practices this behaviour.)

Re:Innovative (2, Informative)

billcopc (196330) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145653)

Too late. Sweden sold out years ago, in exchange for quasi-NATO privileges. They are now just as crooked as the U.S. and U.K.

Re:Innovative (1)

JosKarith (757063) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145797)

Don't forget that the second any US-generated data is put on the servers the servers come immediately under US jurisdiciotn and are bound by US law.
What? That's not the case? Then what the frack happened to MegaUpload...?

Re:Innovative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39149175)

Maybe that will become a big feature. "If the US comes for your data, we'll burn it before they can get it." I'd sign up.

Denmark, you must be kidding (5, Informative)

jlar (584848) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145493)

Denmark gets most of our electricity from coal based electricity plants and a small percentage from renewable sources (mainly wind). And we have the most expensive electricity (~41 cents per kWh) in Europe and only topped by Tonga in the World. You would have to be literally insane to place an international data center here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electricity_pricing [wikipedia.org]

The financial industry data center is probably placed here because of sensitivity of data or because they have to be placed close to the stock exchange. Or something along that line. It is surely not because we have plentiful cheap and renewable energy.

Re:Denmark, you must be kidding (2)

upside (574799) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145543)

LOL, pretty interesting. So much for the common Nordic electricity market. How can Denmark have electricity twice the price of Finland?

Re:Denmark, you must be kidding (3, Informative)

jlar (584848) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145619)

"How can Denmark have electricity twice the price of Finland?"

Because taxes constitute half of the price. Or to put it differently: electricity is taxed by approximately 100% in Denmark. But I just read that commercial entities are exempt from some of the taxes. But even without any direct taxes we pay twice the price consumers do in the US. And that is probably caused by other types of regulation on electricity production. Our politicians have a nasty habbit of implementing hidden taxes that are subsequently paid by the consumer.

Re:Denmark, you must be kidding (1)

GNious (953874) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145697)

Energy-companies have generally being doing a killing in DK - prices are _also_ high to pay for exorbitant wages in the upper levels of management at DONG and its allies.

Re:Denmark, you must be kidding (2)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 2 years ago | (#39148607)

10 years ago the electricity prices in Denmark were the lowest in Europe, even with taxes. Something happened since then. What could it be? The only major change was that we privatized the energy companies.... Hmmm.

Re:Denmark, you must be kidding (1)

HexaByte (817350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39147645)

> ALL taxes are eventually paid by the consumer. Companies just pass them on as part of doing business.

Re:Denmark, you must be kidding (2)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145553)

Indeed. Unlike, say, Norway (not mentioned in TFS, idk about TFA) which uses mainly hydroelectric.

Re:Denmark, you must be kidding (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39146527)

Norway has to my knowledge not put any real effort into getting major data centers here, I remember reading some local news criticizing it. Plenty renewable energy, cool climate and overall a very stable and free society but you're not getting special tax breaks or anything like that. Unlike most countries we're not that desperate, unemployment is now 2.8% and we're trying hard now not to overheat our economy on oil income while the rest of Europe is struggling.

Re:Denmark, you must be kidding (1)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | more than 2 years ago | (#39146939)

I know. I should really move back, but the UK economy isn't allowing me to make enough money to make the move :(

Re:Denmark, you must be kidding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39147327)

You mean something like this?
http://lefdalgruve.no/

Re:Denmark, you must be kidding (2)

Ries (765608) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145629)

In 2010, Denmark got 33% of its electricity from renewable sources (and it was a bad wind year, only 80% of a normal year). The current plans will give us 52% in 2020.

Re:Denmark, you must be kidding (3, Informative)

jlar (584848) | more than 2 years ago | (#39146181)

"Denmark got 33% of its electricity from renewable sources (and it was a bad wind year, only 80% of a normal year)."

That is only half true. 33% of the electricity _production_ was from renewable sources. Not the consumption. The problem is that wind energy is fluctuating with the wind speed. We are therefore exporting surplus wind energy at very low prices during peak production periods and importing expensive electricity (which can be renewable, e.g. from Swedish nuclear plants) during calm periods. And even worse: every one of these cheap kWh that we export are subsidized by Danish consumers.

But my main point is: We do not effectively get 33% of the electricity of the electricity that we consume from renewable sources (and implicitly ~20% from wind energy). According to a recent study we actually only consume half of the wind energy in Denmark (i.e. 10%).

Re:Denmark, you must be kidding (1)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 2 years ago | (#39148677)

That is only half true. 33% of the electricity _production_ was from renewable sources. Not the consumption. The problem is that wind energy is fluctuating with the wind speed. We are therefore exporting surplus wind energy at very low prices during peak production periods and importing expensive electricity (which can be renewable, e.g. from Swedish nuclear plants) during calm periods. And even worse: every one of these cheap kWh that we export are subsidized by Danish consumers.

It works both ways, and much stronger the other way. Sweden has no oil or coal plants, during a dry season and during peak-hours when nuclear can not ramp up. Sweden have to import a lot of coal-energy from Denmark or face outages in half the country. In total Denmark is a net importer of a electricity, but also makes a net profit. Being pragmatic when neighboring irresponsible hippies is really profitable.

Re:Denmark, you must be kidding (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145701)

That Wikipedia page only lists the gross price of electricity. Where I live (Ontario, Canada), there are several extra fees tacked on to the hydro bill, notably the "debt retirement charge", which is the result of our idiot ministers privatizing the government-owned power grid so cheaply that after the sale, we were left with 20 billion in debt. The net cost of electricity here is noticeably higher, and I suspect similar nickel-and-diming occurs elsewhere in the world.

Privatized hydro... did I mention this province is run by cousin-fucking neo-con swine ?

Re:Denmark, you must be kidding (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39145727)

Nonsense. That price only apply for private individuals. Industry and commercial users get it for half this price.

Re:Denmark, you must be kidding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39145765)

It's a bit hard to get lots of hydro on a country roughly size of a postage stamp with altitude variations to match. Also, for some reason solar energy has never been considered a viable around-the-year power source in the Nordic countries.

Well, there's wind, but even filling the whole damn country wouldn't help much else than cutting bird population...

Why not.. (0)

undulato (2146486) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145525)

..just go the whole hog and stick data centres on both poles? Plenty of cool stuff to melt, plenty of sunlight for both halves of the year.

How about those privacy laws? (3, Insightful)

xtal (49134) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145545)

Energy is one thing. Ability to actually protect data from warrantless search and monitoring is another.

Re:How about those privacy laws? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39145557)

That's why my data haven is Antarctica! It's right next to my secret lair, the one with the giant "laser".

Finland, three new nuke plants coming (5, Interesting)

Suomi-Poika (453539) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145627)

Too bad we were forgotten from TFA, in 2009 Google placed their server farm to an old paper mill in Hamina. Now the 5th nuclear power plant (1800MW, what we buy from abroads now) is "soon" completed (before 2015 I hope) and two more are coming.

We have cheap co2 free electricity and cold weather. I believe Finland is going to get a lot of data centers because in addition of chilly weather and good infrastructure here companies can buy a portion of nuclear power producer and get tax free electricity from their "own" nuclear power station. Other Nordic countries do not have such arrangements, there you pay the market price of electricity even if you own a power producer.

Re:Finland, three new nuke plants coming (4, Informative)

Skal Tura (595728) | more than 2 years ago | (#39147717)

The nature of my job makes me research the situation constantly. Problem is high transit costs in Finland. Cheapest i've found is 1.3€/Mbps as a special deal commitment in a small business budget range, above that HE.net was willing to come to Finland for min. 5Gbps commitment at 10k $ which would be currently 1.52€/Mbps.
Goto central Europe and you can get transit at 0.8€/Mbps, and Peering will actually be a huge net benefit. But here in Finland you got to stick mostly with transit.

Transport prices are also high, so you cannot connect to say AMS-IX on the cheap neither because the transport costs takes you to near transit prices.

Still, most Finnish companies are charging around 5-7€/Mbps of transit. Colocation prices are not cheap neither. Many of the DCs i see has huge chillers and do not depend upon outside weather to be cold at all, infact, seems quite to the contrary.

Peering is next to useless in Finland too because of the FICIX peering monopoly, and the only worthwhile peers won't peer with you unless you are ready to pay in total more than transit, ie. Elisa wants you to hook up on all FICIX locations which will bring the cost of exchanged data way too high, seeing that FICIX peering amount is quite low. Also Elisa is nasty to peer with, and the peering will not work properly.

The choice of Transit providers is also very limited compared to Sweden.

Also, if you are on off-net location the costs skyrocket to around 15€/Mbps with 1Gbps commit, even if doesn't require any new fiber to be laid out.

However, new DCs are being build constantly, there was several new majors ones built last year alone, one of which has military spec physical security (old military bunker or something).

The transit prices are not insane high, but they are definitively not competitive. Same goes for electricity.

As a swede I welcome this (4, Informative)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 2 years ago | (#39145941)

The best part about this initiative from my perspective is that these data centers rarely wind up in Stockholm (where a lot of the other IT and dev jobs are) but rather in smaller cities up north where power and land are cheap. And while a data center itself might not bring all that many jobs (I believe I read somewhere that the estimate for Facebook's data center in Luleå was something like 30 to 50 permanent jobs) it does mean that infrastructure is put in place which makes the region more attractive to other companies looking to build data centers. It is also likely to create jobs in the surrounding area and long-term it prevents "brain drain" in the form of skilled workers moving to Stockholm, Malmö och Göteborg just to find work.

Alaska (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39146051)

So if cooler climes are all that's required, why not put the servers in Alaska?

Re:Alaska (2)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 2 years ago | (#39146095)

Most likely because the Nordic countries have better infrastructure than Alaska, especially if you take latency to Europe into account.

Re:Alaska (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39146689)

Two words: Sarah Palin

=:-0

Iceland (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39146271)

Three years ago the company I retired from looked at this facility, which at that time was a figment of someone's imagination. What we found, the "cheap" power and "Free Cooling" could not offset the Limited and high cost bandwidth, and the high lease rate even with favorable currency conversion rate. The other factors that cause us not to consider this location were the limited air service for bringing spares parts and extra personnel. We found an educated, but extremely small labor force that could be used to support the facility. In most cases major support would have to be shipped in from the UK or the United States. Seismic issues were also a major issue. Given the terms and conditions of our Service Level Agreement there was too much risk to assume for a facility that when all costs were factored in would not provide a significant savings over other facilities.

Iceland has the population of Cleveland Ohio, and Cleveland Ohio has more commercial aircraft flights per day then Iceland has per week.

Re:Iceland (1)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 2 years ago | (#39146691)

Maybe so, but I'd much rather go to Iceland on a support call than to the Mistake by the Lake.

Sweden (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39146281)

Yes I want to move all my data to a country that has proven it is willing to roll over for foreign governments - nay, foreign movie industries... What could possibly go wrong. Of course one the data is all in Sweden I can imagine that suddenly Sweden will be receiving a lot of "terrorism-related enquiries and please hand over all the servers" by the US and other countries.

Except the labor laws will kill them (1, Flamebait)

gelfling (6534) | more than 2 years ago | (#39146297)

Nordic countries can't compete internationally because their labor laws are insane. Everyone gets paid a lot of money, they can't be made to work very hard, about 99% of the calendar is a paid holiday, there's a lavish benefit for everything from paternity leave to trash collection day and all labor disputes are decided in favor of who resembles Sesame Street the most.

Re:Except the labor laws will kill them (2)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | more than 2 years ago | (#39147523)

Yeah, Nordic countries can't compete because they've banned the whip and insisted that people are treated at least a little better than caged hens.

Nordic operations are generally very efficient and effective. Why? Because overworked, overtired, overstressed workers make mistakes. Nordic labour laws go a long way to preventing people becoming overworked, overtired or overstressed. So Nordic workers make less mistakes.

Pay peanuts, get monkeys. Do you want your data centre run by monkeys?

Re:Except the labor laws will kill them (1)

gelfling (6534) | more than 2 years ago | (#39147767)

Be that as it may this is the world you live in. When you spend $2000 for an iPad made in a panda friendly environment, let me know.

Re:Except the labor laws will kill them (1, Informative)

Skal Tura (595728) | more than 2 years ago | (#39147899)

LOL!
I guess you don't live in Finland.
Wages here are tiny, taxes are insane high.
In Finland you will know what it means to be POOR.
If you have a job you are in worse situation than unemployed people are, and the slightest, smallest, surprise expense can make you efficiently pay for working, unless your salary is VERY high even in capital area terms.
The total tax rate for minimum wage is about 60%, if you are educated skill worker earning well tax rate can be 90%, it's just hidden mostly.

From 3k € gross income (which is good here btw), you will retain about 2200€
Apartments costs 800-900€ a month, unless you go for the cheapest which are 500-600€.
That sounds great, 1300€ left in hand?
Yeah, let's assume you are joe average and have a work travel distance of about 20-25km, so you won't get tax benefits for using your car, but public transportation sucks too bad to use it.
60€ insurance, 150€ a month on gas, and say you do even the minimal maintenance for the car 50€ a mo (Oils, annual inspection, one small repair operation a year, ie. brake pads. Exhaust w/ mufflers will cost more than this budget allows), have an average 7k € car which you are paying 300€ a month. 560€ cost right there just to get to your place of work.
740€ remains.
But food costs a lot, you are having "big salary" so you don't want to stay on macaroni diet: 200€ a month at least (Lunch @ work is 6-7€ if employer subsidized)
540€ remains.
Phone bill: 40€
Home internet: 40€
Electricity: 30€ a mo (that's quite cheap)
450€ remains.

This 450€ is your buying power, to do your hobbies with, have fun, take your vacations etc.
5400€ a year. After a nice couple weeks vacation in the Caribbean you are left with around 2k € annual buying power. ~167€ a month for your clothing, health care and hobbies. Oh yeah, health care isn't free.

There is a reason why for many Finnish guys/girls even a 20€ cost is too much.

Alaska (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39146459)

Much better than Europe.

Re:Alaska (1)

luke923 (778953) | more than 2 years ago | (#39147621)

Why not Northern Canada while you're at it? Actually, even the Twin Cities, Milwaukee, Chicago, or any town in the northern Midwest would suffice. Better yet, San Francisco rarely gets above 70.

it's important to remember (1)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#39146661)

The USA doesn't have any locations (like Wyoming, Colorado or the Dakotas) with an abundance of cheap energy, high speed data connections and local cheap power.

How about selling political stability and business climate?

Re:it's important to remember (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39148053)

The USA doesn't have any locations (like Wyoming, Colorado or the Dakotas) with an abundance of cheap energy, high speed data connections and local cheap power.

How about selling political stability and business climate?

According to this page [datacenterknowledge.com] , a third of the 10 largest data centers in the world are in Chicago. So... I would guess that political stability and business climate are near the bottom of the list of priorities when it comes to locating a data center!

Re:it's important to remember (2)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39149605)

I would guess that political stability and business climate are near the bottom of the list of priorities when it comes to locating a data center!

Politics are pretty stable in Illinois: the governor serves for a few years, then goes to jail.

Spelling (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39146981)

If you're going to make a pitch to U.S. firms for services & facilities on Scandinavian soil, speaking the English language is, of course, a good place to start. But I might suggest adopting the American dialect and spellings rather than the British form. In America, it's "center", not "centre". Small things like that can go a long way towards inspiring confidence that we can work together.

Do your due diligence before moving to Sweden... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39148043)

My company has been running a part of its cloud service out of Swedish datacenters for the past few years to better support our EU customers and avoid issues with European data on US soil. Service to EU customers has been good, however it has been an absolute pain to manage connectivity between the US and Sweden. Telia provides the primary internet service link to Sweden across the Atlantic and we have been seeing so many dropped packets on the Telia network that there have been days where we have not been able to maintain connectivity to our own machines.

On top, since Sweden is not a part of the EU, we are having to jump through legal hoops to meet EU data privacy law requirements. For data residing in the US, we can leverage the SafeHarbor mechanism to demonstrate EU PII compliance. This does not work, when we host the data in a third party datacenter in Sweden.

End result is, that we are moving our data out of Sweden and into the EU (UK or Holland). This solves all of our PII issues, and it gets us off the overloaded Telia networks. Oddly, we have found that we can get a higher level of service in the UK and Holland at a significantly lower cost...

Re:Do your due diligence before moving to Sweden.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39149655)

Did you write this comment in the early 1990? Last time I looked out my window there were EU flags hanging next to the swedish ones. Our licence plates has the obligatory EU symbol and my EU driver licence even has a tiny EU symbol on it.

Due diligence you said?

Well, I suspect your network suffered the same problem as your "due diligence".

  Norway is the nordic country not being a member of the EU.

Norway has also major data center plans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39148107)

33.600 m^2 data center planned, the largest in the Nordics:
http://www.vg.no/teknologi/artikkel.php?artid=10043193
18.000 m^2 nuclear detonation resistant mountain complex planned converted into green data center:
http://www.tu.no/it/article234366.ece
120.000 m^2 (the worlds largest) magnesium iron silicate mine planned converted into one of the worlds largest, most secure and environmentally friendly data centers:
http://www.tu.no/it/article232094.ece

I also belive CERN recently said they wanted to move their data center to Norway, but I think our politicians f* up that.

Interesting Externalities (2)

Phoenix666 (184391) | more than 2 years ago | (#39148273)

The last five years it has been interesting to see deficits turned into opportunities. In this article, it's the unrelenting cold of Scandinavia being used to cool the heat engines known as servers. In the American Midwest it has been turning the unrelenting winds, which used to be cursed and inveighed against, into wind power that is putting more money in people's pockets than they've seen in 100 years.

I am far from capitalism's fan, but it does occasionally produce results better than its proponents intended.

iceland ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39148647)

no need to cross an ocean to have nordic climate , good data connectivity and cheap renewable green electricity , just go north of vermont / NY state , i pay 6 cent a Kw on a regular joe electricity bill , immagine if i was running a couple hundred thousand servers at half that price (we have alluminium plants that get real good deal from our government owned Hydro-Quebec)

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