Amsterdam stakes its claim as European datacentre hub

Datacentres are slowly making their way onto the list of things that Amsterdam is synonymous with.

Amsterdam continues to stake a claim as a leading European datacentre hub, with companies attracted there by good connectivity to the rest of the world and relatively cheap power.

Datacentre provider Securus Fund has just bought its first facility there, the Almere Data Centre (ADC) located 30 minutes from the centre of Amsterdam and now Securus Fund's sixth datacentre which it purchased last month. The Tier 3 facility will be used to provide co-location and business contingency services to its clients. 

"Securus Fund's investment in the ADC is a natural choice as the Netherlands is one of the most well-connected countries in Europe," co-fund manager of Securus Fund, Bruno Lopez, said in a statement. "The availability and resiliency of the power supply also add to the advantages of owning a data centre in the Netherlands."

report, published by commercial property and real state adviser CBRE at the end of last year, found that Amsterdam has seen record datacentre up-take for the last three consecutive years.

The report also found that colocation space in Amsterdam increased by 18.3 percent in 2012, the highest of all the Tier 1 markets, as several of the main operators brought on capacity through the likes of Equinix AMS 3, Telecity AMS 5, Interxion 6 and Evoswitch Hall 6. 

Several factors make Amsterdam a good place to build a datacentre.  

For example, submarine communication cable systems provide the Dutch city with low-latency connections to other European nations, North America and further afield.

Meanwhile, the city is also supported by the Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX), which is one of the largest digital exchange platforms in the world and home to 538 internet service providers, compared to only 435 in London. 

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Cheap energy

Digital Realty's director of engineering, Robert Bath, told ZDNet that Amsterdam's low energy costs enable datacentre providers to save approximately 15 percent on their energy bills than if they built the same datacentre in London. "The Netherland's is benefiting in some respect from the ability to procure cheap nuclear power from Belgium and equally the growth in German solar power providing imports to the Netherlands during the summer months," he said.

Bath added that it costs significantly more to set up a new power supply for a datacentre in the UK than it does for a datacentre in Amsterdam.

The cost of land can also be up to 10 percent cheaper per acre in the Netherlands, said Bath, adding that it ultimately depends on the particular area in question.

Digital Realty has three datacentres in Amsterdam but is planning to bring a fourth facility online in the second quarter of 2014, which will have a power output of 12MW. 

Professor Ian Bitterlin, a consulting engineer and datacentre expert, told ZDNet that it is important for datacentre providers to build facilities close to their customers. He said Amsterdam is well placed for exploiting transatlantic fibre that comes onshore in the Rotterdam area.  

Bitterlin said that other important European datacentre markets are London, Frankfurt, Paris and Madrid, due to their strong financial links. "Dublin on the other hand has investment and tax breaks plus good connectivity," he said.


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