Norway Wants to Win Hyper-Scale Gold in the Data Center Olympics

Bergen, Norway

My latest and last (see below) Critical Thinking column over at Data Center Knowledge is on Norway’s bid to build up its data center industry.

To that end the Norwegian government recently published Powered by Nature: Norway as a Data Center Nation, a report that details the country’s credentials as an ideal data center location.

Coincidentally, I recently returned from my second trip to Norway, where I witnessed first-hand some of the things it has to offer data center operators.

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A chilly boat trip on the fjords just outside Bergen

First the positives: One that springs immediately to mind is the temperature. After visiting in February, I can report that Norway is indeed a great place for free cooling (the only thing that is free in Norway it seems). The temperature where I was, in Bergen, barely rose above 5°C (40°F), and it’s one of the warmer parts of the country, thanks to the Gulf Stream.

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Mock-up of Lefdal Mine Datacentre

Norway also does have some established data center operators already, such as Green Mountain, Digiplex, and Basefarm. One of the most recent projects is also the most interesting: the Lefdal Mine Datacentre (which we have written about before) has ambitions to be the largest facility in Europe, and, as the name suggests, it is completely underground.

So given all that, why hasn’t Norway been able to attract a hyper-scale operator to date? Head over to Data Center Knowledge to read the full column.

NOTE: As mentioned above, this was my last column for Data Center Knowledge as I’ve got an exciting new role which I will be discussing soon. 

Big thanks to Yevgeniy Sverdlik and the team for allowing me to contribute to the great editorial over at Data Center Knowledge. I look forward to continuing to work with them in my new role. 


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