Step inside one of the biggest datacentres in Europe: Photos

Step inside one of the biggest datacentres in Europe: Photos

Summary: This week saw the opening of the biggest datacentre in Europe – a new facility in the Portuguese city of Covilhã. ZDNet went for a look around.


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  • Portugal Telecom looked at a number of factors in its selection of the site for the new datacentre and eventually choose Covilhã out of 26 options.

    Covilhã's cool climate, abundance of rainfall, and low risk of earthquakes all helped to push it to the top of the list.

    Situated in Portugal's highest mountain range and near its only ski resort, Covilhã is in the only region the country to experience regular winter snowfall.

    Image: Lance Harris/ZDNet

  • The Covilhã datacentre will house six main rooms, each with 520m² of space. Each of them is built with bridge engineering techniques, and there are no pillars to maximise space.

    Image: Portugal Telecom

  • The datacentre draws 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources and has a PUE (power usage effectiveness) of under 1.25.

    Its high voltage substation is powered by two separate power lines that feed the datacentre through two separate paths. Twelve groups of generators — one of them pictured above — provide more than enough power for a town the size of Covilhã in the event of a power outage.

    Image: Lance Harris/ZDNet

Topics: Data Centers, Datacentre Tour, Telcos, EU

Lance Harris

About Lance Harris

Lance Harris is a writer with more than 18 years of experience. Over the years, Lance has written about technology in business, the business of technology, and the African telecommunications industry for many of South Africa’s top business and IT publications.

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  • Yet Another Vast Room Filled With Featureless Metal Cabinets

    Why can't datacentres look more like this?