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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  • The datacentre is designed for a high level of security and redundancy. The structure is encased in a 'safe box' comprising a single, solid metal piece measuring 55m X 55m X 33m. 

    Human guards and more than 250 cameras watch over the facility 24 hours a day around the year, while access to sensitive areas of the facility is granted by palm vein verification.

    Pictured here are some of the facility's fire extinction systems.

    Image: Lance Harris/ZDNet

  • Portugal Telecom hopes that it will not need to use air conditioning in the Covilhã datacentre for more than six days a year. The free-cooling system, making extensive use of rainwater, should cover the datacentre's cooling requirements for 99 percent of the time.

    Image: Lance Harris/ZDNet

  • The theme of environmental sustainability is carried beyond the core datacentre facilities.

    More than 1,600 photovoltaic panels supply 30 percent of the energy needed to power the datacentre support buildings, and Portugal Telecom has planted 600 indigenous trees that will not need to be watered around the facility.

    In the parking lot, spaces are reserved for car pool vehicles, electric cars and bicycles.

    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?