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After 15 months of construction, Portugal Telecom on Monday officially launched the first phase of one of Europe's largest and greenest datacentres.
When complete, the €90m datacentre in the city of Covilhã will have a storage capacity of up to 30PB, 50,000 servers and four datacentre blocks across a total area of 75,000m².
According to Portugal Telecom, the new facility increases datacentre capacity in the country by more than 60 percent. The operator hopes to eventually consolidate its seven existing datacentres into the new Covilhã datacentre and an existing facility in Lisbon.
Image: Portugal Telecom
A clock in Covilhã's town square counted down the hours to the datacentre's inauguration on 23 September.
It's hoped the datacentre will bring economic renewal to an area that saw its economy and population shrink throughout the 1990s as a result of the decline of Portugal's textiles industry. The new datacentre will directly create 400 jobs and indirectly create 1,000 more in the region.
Portugal Telecom will be working with the city's public university, the University of Beira Interior, to develop cloud computing skills. Local government authorities hope that the datacentre facility will also attract investment into the town from other technology companies in the years to follow.
Image: Lance Harris/ZDNet
Portugal Telecom will use the new facility to help deliver datacentre services, cloud, and IT outsourcing in Portugal, as well as the rest of Europe and Brazil. In Europe, Portugal Telecom hopes that lower labour and energy costs than the continent's average will give it an edge.
The operator also hopes to expand into Africa's datacentre market through partnership agreements in the months to come. Portugal Telecom will offer a white label platform to enable African service providers to launch their own branded cloud services.
The launch of the datacentre is an important landmark in Portugal Telecom's ongoing transformation from the country's incumbent into a modern converged services provider. Speaking ahead of the launch, Portugal Telecom CEO ZeinalBava said that data today contributes more than half of the operator's revenues.
Other elements of the transformation strategy Portugal Telecom embarked on in 2008 include the launch of its pay TV, triple-play and quad-play offerings for consumers; investment in a national fibre transmission network and a fibre to the home access network; and construction of a national 4G LTE network.
Image: Lance Harris/ZDNet