Earth Day 2021 is being held on Thursday, 22 April. This year’s theme of "Restore Our Earth" focuses on restoring the world’s ecosystems through natural processes, emerging green technologies and innovative thinking. The Bulk team is advancing these ideas every day as we race to bring sustainable infrastructure to a global audience.
British real estate tycoon Lord Harold Samuel famously said there are three things that matter in property: location, location, location. Oslo-based Bulk Data Centers’ N01 campus near Kristiansand, Norway could be the ideal data center location for power, connectivity, resilience and total cost of ownership.
This latest addition to Bulk’s Nordic data center campuses is poised to become the world’s largest green data center site - fortified with low-cost power and highly sustainable solutions. For enterprises and hyperscalers alike, the N01 campus offers partners and customers an array of opportunities to meet their most pressing data challenges head-on.
According to ReaserchAndMarkets.com, The Nordic data center market has been a favorable destination for data center developments and investments for hyperscale data center operators, colocation providers, cryptocurrency operators and now we’re seeing an emergence of enterprise demands eyeing the region. In fact, some of the world’s biggest companies, including Amazon and Volkswagen Group, are investing in Nordic data centers. This is due to a range of location-specific advantages, including significantly lower energy costs for minimized operating expenses when compared to the traditional FLAP markets (Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam, Paris), as well as Dublin. These include Norway’s own energy efficiencies, affordable real estate and access to a large and highly skilled workforce.
Beyond that, the Nordics and Norway offer an attractive and stable environment for business. For example, Norway tops a number of global lists in several important areas including:
#1 in the world for Most Resilient Nation
#3 in Europe for Doing Business
#2 in Europe for Digitization
#7 in the world for Competitiveness
#8 in the world for Higher Education and Training
#5 in the world in Talent & Workforce
#10 in the world in Adoption of New Technology
#1 in the world for Human Development
With all this going for Norway and the region, the Arcadis Data Center Location Index 2021 ranks the nation #5 in the world and #2 in Europe for suitability for data center investment.
For organizations with power-intensive data processing needs, the Nordics is the obvious choice. They simply need to choose the region’s best partner with the best solutions.
Nordic national governments have also supported investments with growth-promoting tax systems and frameworks that make it easy to do business. Bulk Data Centers makes this even easier for customers and partners that may be new to the region by helping them navigate the specifics of doing business in the Nordics. Business expansion into new global markets can pose challenges, regardless of location. For the Nordics, Bulk’s comprehensive consulting capabilities take these pain points away. With deep roots in Norway and Denmark, Bulk understands what it takes to be successful in the Nordics. And the company brings that experience to bear, delivering peace of mind, along with comprehensive solutions, strategically located sites and best-in-class services that expand reach, drive down costs and maximize performance.
Sustainability, efficiency and eco-consciousness are growing as core global concerns, and the impact of data centers and their carbon footprints can no longer be ignored. Now, sustainability is essential to data center site selection and provider choice, in the same way geography, scalability, power, and reliability have been mainstays of data center procurement. This is why Bulk Data Centers is focused on delivering sustainability without compromise.
As part of this commitment, Bulk announced joining the Sustainable Digital Infrastructure Alliance (SDIA), an independent alliance of stakeholders across the digital sector committed to executing the Roadmap to a Sustainable Digital Economy by 2030. Bulk’s engagement with SDIA is twofold. First, to amplify greater intra-industry collaboration, further supporting the core goals of the SDIA in realizing an ecologically and economically sustainable digital world. Bulk also promotes the growing digital market in the Nordics and the role of the vast supplies of affordable renewable energy available to enterprises and hyperscalers, as well as research organizations looking to expand digital capacity while reducing their carbon footprint.
As a benefit of Bulk Data Centers’ ideal location in the Nordics, the company is able to offer environmentally friendly solutions powered by renewable energy with low levels of CO2 emissions. Across a 10-year investment, Nordic data centers can enable organizations to become more sustainable while saving hundreds of millions of dollars. For example, say you want to run a 5MW load for 10 years each at data center locations in Norway and in the UK. Assuming the base rent at each location is equal, the fully loaded average cost of power in 2019 was an estimated € 0.21 per kWh in the UK, compared to € 0.03 per kWh in Norway. Over those ten years, the cost-of-power savings alone would amount to some € 111,305,088.
Despite growth in electrification pushing up demand and the largest high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) power grid interconnection with Germany coming online, Norway continues to expect a power surplus in the coming years. According to the Ministry of Energy, "Today, Norway has a power surplus of about 15 terawatt hours. We also expect to have a considerable surplus in the years to come."The country has among the richest supplies of clean hydropower in the world. In fact, in Southern Norway, power prices went negative twice in 2020. As data centers face mounting pressure to reduce their carbon footprint around the world, Norway’s abundant supplies of green power are drawing increased attention.
The N01 campus in Southern Norway is located in the lowest cost energy region of Norway. It sits next door to Europe's largest renewable energy substation. Available power is 100 MVA (mega volt amps) today, scalable up to 1GW in the future. Bulk has two (2) independent feeds directly connected to over 100 hydropower turbines to maintain the highest power availability at the lowest cost. The N01 transformer station provides 12 independent feeds to the campus for redundancy and high reliability.
For data-driven organizations that want to be part of the climate change solution, Bulk unlocks the unrivalled benefits of the Nordics — this includes leveraging close to 100% renewable energy. Bulk is leading HPC and AI colocation services in the Nordics and across Europe, collaborating with NVIDIA through the DGX-Ready Data Center program to make AI deployments even faster and easier. The rigorous certification program reinforces confidence that Bulk can meet stringent demands for high-specification hosting for advanced AI workloads, network fabric and facilities engineering requirements. Bulk solutions are extremely practical for businesses because they don’t require concessions on cost, performance, resiliency or scalability to add world-class sustainability to growing data and compute capabilities.
Making the Connection
Having one partner for fiber infrastructure and data center service means a simpler, more comprehensive solution that is ready to take on the evolving needs of digital business. Bulk's green-powered data centers deliver greater power resiliency, enhanced scalability and more. Bulk affiliates have also invested in the largest dark fiber highway into and throughout the Nordics. Bulk Data Centers’ solutions align seamlessly with the company’s fiber offerings, ensuring customers can leverage complete data and infrastructure solutions from one provider.
N01 offers access to carrier-neutral, large-capacity fiber connectivity to the US, Europe and within the Nordics. The campus location in Kristiansand, Norway is close to international air, rail and sea transport hubs for fast access and ease of logistics to major International markets.
Bulk Data Centers has recently expanded its capacity in Southern Norway by 3MW. “The huge growth in customer demand for high-density and high-availability solutions has led us to increase capacity within the existing building by 3MW”, says Jon Gravråk, CEO of Bulk Infrastructure Group AS. The additional capacity is designed to deliver power and cooling for 30kW racks and was provisioned in less than four months.
The campus offers companies an unrivalled opportunity to benefit from 100% low-carbon -- and low-cost -- renewable energy. With this expansion, Bulk is able to offer world class Infrastructure for the lowest Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) in Europe. The expansion is the first phase of a new period of growth at the N01 Campus. Plans are in the works for additional expansions with announcements expected in the near term.
Features and capabilities at N01 were central factors, including TCO and low-carbon as well as extra-mile service, in a UK quant hedge fund placing an HPC research workload expansion in Norway. Their new HPC cluster would triple the compute capacity of the combined existing data centers in London at a fraction of the carbon emissions and the cost. The ability to manage the migration logistics, design and all of the details involved during pandemic travel restrictions made the move possible.
With a new contract for Fiber connectivity secured earlier this year with Telia, along with growth in international and regional Fiber systems, Southern Norway is becoming a key and accessible location for sustainable digital solutions.
Deep Bench Strength
According to the IDC 2019 Worldwide Datacenter Support Customer Satisfaction Study, 85 percent of Enterprise customers value services as a key differentiator when it comes to which vendor an Enterprise will choose to buy a product from. As Bulk continues to expand the N01 campus, their roots in the Nordics offer unparalleled service and experience in the region.
The Government of Norway recognizes and values the role of the Data Center market, the value chain supporting this growth industry, and its ability to transform their national economy. To support this transformation and future growth, the Government is investing in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) education and training opportunities as part of the national budget process. The Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, laid out the strategy in a 2019 report titled Powered by Nature: Norway as a Data Centre Nation. Norway’s broader policy on ICT is to invest in digital competence in schools as well as in higher education and research, including funding some 2,000 new study places, or scholarships, to meet the growing demand.
Bringing it All Together
Bulk Data Centers delivers turnkey data center services with a focus on sustainable solutions in the Nordics, one of the world’s most cost-efficient locations, offering meticulous answers to complex data needs.
As a centerpiece, Bulk’s N01 campus is an excellent example of how all of the benefits of expanding or migrating content, applications and compute to the Nordics. The facility offers redundant, direct connections to robust and affordable renewable energy. This means high confidence, low emissions and low cost. And Bulk is investing new subsea fiber cable systems to provide diverse routes for increased availability and redundancy.in connections to other European markets.
All of these benefits, and more, are backed by a stable and supportive economy and policy environment that is strategically seeking to attract and grow the digital economy in Norway and the Nordics. As your business and digital needs grow, Bulk and the Nordics are must-haves on your short list when considering your options for expansion or migration.