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Icelandic data centres risk claims rebuffed

5 June 2010
James Hayes - Editor, IT section
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Volcanic eruptions in Iceland have cast a shadow over the country’s image as a secure and eco-efficient data centre location, according to UK-based IT services company ControlCircle. Its CEO has claimed that Eyjafjallajökull’s belchings will have a lasting impact on its reputation due to the combined hazards to flight bans and ash fallout.

“Effects such as a fly-ban would mean operators would be unable to get their IT personnel out there to resolve any technological problems,” ControlCircle CEO Damian Milkins claimed, “and they would be unable to ship-out kit containing sensitive data that for some reason has returned to the UK.”

Milkins also claims that volcanic ash could cause irreparable damage to cooling chillers and rotary generators, and that the air quality inside affected facilities could deteriorate to levels that jeopardise equipment integrity and leave personnel unable to work.

However, Milkin’s claims have been rejected by Verne Global, a wholesale data centre developer based in Keflavik, a town in the Reykjanes region of southwest Iceland.

“With harnessing the benefits of Iceland’s geothermal power, you also have to be prepared to address the by-product of that power source, which includes seismic and volcanic activity,” Verne Global CTI Tate Cantrell told E&T magazine. “Verne protects equipment and personnel from volcanic ash with a combination of sub-micron air filtration and closed-loop cooling designs that harness the cooling power of Iceland’s climate.”

Cantrell added that Verne has set-up relationships with Icelandic suppliers, technicians, and vendors to support its data centres locally.
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More information:
www.controlcircle.com
www.verneglobal.com

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