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Building European competitiveness: Smart specialization for European datacenters


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On a European scale smart specialization means locating common, Pan-European structures in those regions of Europe where it is most optimal.

Here we present suggestions for clearly-defined selection criteria that will help to select the optimal region.

Case: Kajaani datacenter ecosystem – a smart European solution

Published in: Technology
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Building European competitiveness: Smart specialization for European datacenters

  1. 1. CSC – Finnish research, education and public administration ICT knowledge centre Building European competitiveness: Smart specialization for European datacenters Case Kajaani 10.4.20171
  2. 2. On a European scale smart specialization means locating common, Pan- European structures in those regions of Europe where it is most optimal. 10.4.2017 CSC – Tieteen tietotekniikan keskus2
  3. 3. What is smart specialization? The EU Member States have different characteristics: oScope and volume of major industries oAvailable skills and competencies of the workforce oNatural and climatic conditions etc. “We can build state-of-the art world-class eco-efficiency systems around our mutual challenges, which gives opportunities for several European players to bring in their strengths, complement each other and find synergies.” (Kimmo Koski, CSC blog post)
  4. 4. Basic principles 1. Regional strengths Optimal exploitation of strengths of different countries and regions 2. Focusing and optimizing Enabling actors to focus efforts on their strengths 3. Cost-efficiency Services should be produced where it is most cost-efficient 4. Synergies through ecosystems Building excellence in regions, providing synergies and cost- efficiency on the European level 5. Building skills Competence building and skills development in multi-actor ecosystems
  5. 5. 10.4.2017 CSC – Tieteen tietotekniikan keskus5 Europe should act now – or let Amazon or Google take over?
  6. 6. Why does Europe need smart specialization? • Research, science and innovation in connection with the e-infrastructures and e-services are accelerators in turning knowledge into growth. Data plays a key role in this rapid development. • Europe needs to compete in this global race, leveraging growing volumes of data and turning them into jobs and economic growth.
  7. 7. Added value with datacenter smart specialization • Practical way forward in the datacenter area: Europe can build competence by using existing infrastructures and skills. • Cost-, energy- and eco-efficiency go hand in hand – by locating datacenters optimally we can save significant amounts of taxpayers’ money and be environmentally sustainable. • Energy costs are the biggest run-time cost element (40–60%) that depends primarily on energy prices, secondarily on nature and climatic conditions, and thirdly on energy effective technologies. • The energy prices vary greatly in the EU – the highest price might be even three times as high as the lowest.
  8. 8. How to implement smart specialization of datacenters on a European scale? Clearly-defined selection criteria and step-by-step selection will help to select the optimal region
  9. 9. Suggestions for criteria
  10. 10. 1. Cost- and energy efficiency, energy reliability • The energy price (EUR per kWh) should be as low as possible, and long-term fixed energy pricing should be available • The energy effectiveness level should be optimal oThe effectiveness of energy consumption characterised by the PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) should be less than 1.2 • The electricity reliability should be above 99.99% • Diverse power supply should be possible PUE = Total Facility Power / IT Equipment Power PUE is the ratio of total amount of energy used by a computing infrastructure facility to the energy delivered to the computing infrastructure. An ideal PUE is 1.
  11. 11. 2. Environmental sustainability • Green power options preferred, the possibility of using carbon neutral energy • Natural resources for cooling (air and water) should be available on a regular basis • To ensure this, average annual temperature should be below a given constant (3℃) • Near-zero carbon footprint during operational lifetime, the Carbon Usage Effectiveness (CUE) should be close to zero CUE = Total CO2 emissions caused by the Total Data Center Power/ IT Equipment Power
  12. 12. 3. Scalability, ecosystem thinking, expertise • Modular expansion to the existing infrastructure should be easy, flexible and cost-efficient • There should be good possibilities for building interoperable services (cloud, disciplinary layers etc.) on top of existing structures • There should be sufficient expertise available for services and support in e.g. HPC, networks, data management and analytics
  13. 13. 4. Operational conditions • High connectivity should be secured, a fibre connectivity should be located near • 24/7 operation, connectivity and other services should be highly reliable • The location should be stable and safe for preserving and processing large amounts of data • ISO 27001 and ISO 14001 certificates are preferred • A highly-skilled staff should be available for preparing, operating, maintaining and further developing state-of-the art technology and world-class eco-efficiency systems • There should be high availability of high performance computing services (a percentage constant should be defined)
  14. 14. Kajaani – a smart European solution
  15. 15. CSC datacenter in Kajaani • 3 000 m2 (option to 4 000 m2 additional datacenter space) • Redundant green power scalability up to hundreds of MW, based on customer need. Existing power capacity: 10 MW (redundant) • Local and competent partner network guarantees rapid scalability and secure operations • State-of-the-art datacenter technology (modularity of the datacenter, easy expansion, free air cooling all year round) delivering world-class eco-efficiency and zero carbon footprint. Annual PUE 1,03 (2015) • Also traditional water cooling datacenter facilities are available for certain supercomputer type of services • High-end availability on both power supply, cooling and core network connectivity
  16. 16. Very competitive pricing – substantial savings for Europe PRODUCT Electrical energy CONSOM Band IC : 500 MWh < Consumption < 2 000 MWh UNIT MWh TAX All taxes and levies included CURRENCY Euro GEO/TIME 2014 2015 European Union (28 countries) 149,10 149,60 European Union (27 countries) 149,20 149,70 Denmark 260,60 258,90 Germany (until 1990 former territory of the FRG) 199,20 197,90 Ireland 153,20 160,10 France 109,00 120,80 Netherlands 107,40 110,60 Finland 89,50 87,70 United Kingdom 160,60 178,80 Norway 101,00 96,20 Source: electricity trader company Enegia ( In Finland tax reduction reduces the prices further by approx. 15€/MWh In CSC Kajaani datacenter the energy price is even lower – 70€/MWh in 2016!
  17. 17. World-class eco-efficiency • Annual PUE 1,03* (2015) bringing tangible energy cost savings to customers. (*free-air cooling) • Cool climate: Kajaani has only a few days each year when the temperature is over +25℃ (annual average temperature below +3℃). No compressor based cooling is required to maintain the required temperatures for the direct free air -cooled datacentre (CSC has both direct free air and cool water-cooled datacentres in Kajaani). • High capacity green power is provided within the Renforsin Ranta Business Park with four links to the national grid. Green energy production in the region, three local hydro power plants and a wood burning biomass power station.The region is also investing heavily to the Wind farms and Solar Energy. • CSC uses 100% certificated hydro power (CUE close to zero) in all its data center production and office environments.
  18. 18. Modularity, scalability, ecosystem implementation • State-of-the-art datacenter technology: modularity of the datacenter, easy expansion, free air cooling all year round • Strong local datacenter ecosystem: local authorities, university, funding organisations, industry – all onboard • Scalability, also in power • Room and possibilities for growth…
  19. 19. Competent staff and services available • Skilled staff on-site: oHPC operations since 1989, including a wide area of technologies, environment upgrades and changes, scientific software and databases, support & training, Research network (FUNET) managed by CSC oData: storage, archival, long-term preservation of data, data analysis,Open science • CSC is a Prace AdvancedTraining Center (PATC) • CSC is a trusted and reliable European actors and partner in various European projects, e.g. currently coordinating EUDAT. • Availability of additional services like local smart hands, reception and un-packaging of HW, HW installations, data / storage services, additional network services, remote monitoring, DCIM …
  20. 20. Reliability: small risk of power failures • No power failures on site since year 1982. • CSC has leveraged this capability in current production without an investment in backup generators. UPS provided, on-demand. For generators we have ready-made contact points, so those can be added based on customer request. • Scalability also in power.
  21. 21. Network management • CSC as FUNET (the Finnish national research and education network) operator => Competent network management, quick problem solving, change management available • Funet provides congestion-free connectivity through 100 Gbit/s national IP/MPLS backbone. 2x 100 Gbit/s connections to NORDUnet, which connects Funet to Géant and other research networks. Dedicated connections available through Funet Light path service (lambda) and National and international MPLS services (MDVPN)
  22. 22. Security & stability • No risc of seismic / volcanic activities, hurricane/tidal or other foms of severe weather • Finland is a country of political stability and predictability • CSC has expertise in service development for storage of sensitive data
  23. 23. Sustainable datacenter service management • CSC was founded in 1971, and it is a company governed and owned by the state • IT service management according to FitSM – a clear, pragmatic, lightweight and achievable standard that allows for effective IT service management (ITSM) • CSC has continuity in service quality • ISO27001 certificate for Kajaani datacenter since 2013 security, datacenter management processes. Annual audits • Datacenter Infra management (DCIM) tool in use and customer specific access for their own services development
  24. 24. CSC offers IT services and resources for research, education, culture and administration. CSC is a state-owned, non-profit company administered by the Ministry of Education and Culture. 10.4.201724
  25. 25. CSC – IT Center for Science Ltd. P.O.Box 405, FI-02101 Espoo phone +358 9 457 2001 Photos used in presentation: iStock, Shutterstock ja CSC photo archive