05-29-12 | Blog Post

Chilly Climates Ideal for Data Center Locations

Blog Posts
Lulea, Sweden
Lulea, Sweden

A recent article in the NYTimes.com reports on the draw of chilly nordic countries and their ideal climate for data centers – Facebook is building its first international data center in Lulea, Sweden, a small coastal city tucked up on a peninsula near the Gulf of Bothnia.

Why is this ideal for a cloud computing hub? Climate, climate, climate. The city’s subarctic climate typically does not exceed an average of 52 degrees Fahrenheit over the entire year, and six months out of the year, its average climate stays steadily below 25 degrees Fahrenheit.

Google’s new facility in Hamina, Finland, a former paper mill, uses the naturally cold seawater to provide cooling by means of a system that pumps the water to the facility, transfers data center heat through a heat exchanger, and then returns the water to the gulf. They have a great video explaining the entire process.

Hamina, Finland
Hamina, Finland

What does this mean for cloud data centers? With power expenses accounting for 70-80 percent of the total costs of running a data center, it’s logical that data center operators want to keep their cooling costs down. Owning and operating a data center located in a region with natural cooling for the majority of the months out of the year allows for dependable cost-savings and ideal conditions for servers.

While the state of Michigan is no Sweden, Online Tech’s Michigan data centers benefit from naturally ideal temperatures so we don’t have to rely solely on powered cooling, just like the premise of Google and Facebook’s data centers in chilly Nordic countries. This means our data centers are more cost-efficient to run, and our clients benefit too.

Michigan's Climate Compared to Other States
Michigan’s Climate Compared to Other States

Just like Hamina and Lulea, Michigan is a peninsula surrounded by the five Great Lakes. Michigan also has an extremely low risk of natural disasters, including earthquakes, hurricanes and tornadoes, making it a safe location to house your data.

Michigan has experienced the lowest number of major natural disasters over the last three decades, second only to Alaska.

While your company headquarters may be located elsewhere, it’s important to take climate and geography into consideration when it comes to your critical data. Keeping data safe can mean physical, technical and network security, but it also means location.

Michigan: Ideal Location for Data Centers
Michigan: Ideal Location for Data Centers

Recommended Reading:
Online Tech’s Michigan Data CentersCompliance, Features and Locations
Data Center Standards Cheat Sheet – From HIPAA to SOC 2
Michigan Colocation: Making Long Distance Colocation Easy

Nordic Countries Increasingly Attractive as Sites for Data Centers
Google’s Hamina Data Center

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