Born in Chicago to Italian immigrants, I found myself unexpectedly on my way to live in Iceland in 2006. Arriving in Keflavik Airport on a flight from O’hare, I guess you could say I felt a bit like a fish out of water. For those of you who get the reference, think “My Cousin Vinny.” Moving from a big city and selling networking and data center services to businesses across the United States, it might have come as a bit of a cultural shock to adapt to living in a town called Hafnarfjörður, in a country with a total population equal to the metropolitan area of Rockford, IL. Thankfully, I quickly realized that while comparatively small, Iceland had things to offer that not only interested me personally, but also provided incredible opportunities.
Iceland sits right between the US and Europe, and all its electricity comes from 100% renewable energy sources. Like the Pacific Northwest in the United States, the power grid was originally built to service the power-intensive aluminum industry, making it one of the most modern, stable and secure grids in the world. Even 16 years ago, it was apparent to me this was a unique selling proposition. While most “green” solutions typically mean higher cost, that is not true in Iceland. Verne Global uses renewable power in Iceland to deliver services to the global market that are actually sustainable and free of carbon credits of dubious environmental value, while significantly reducing total cost of operation.
Since Verne Global launched operations in 2012, organizations around the world have become familiar and comfortable with the idea of locating their IT equipment and applications in specialist data centers providing colocation and cloud-based services. As they did, so did the opportunity to make Iceland a meaningful addition to the global data center ecosystem.
Verne Global’s success over the past 10 years has come from various scenarios as a data center provider. Some customers host their entire IT infrastructure with us, while others run specialized workloads on our campus in tandem with their own data center, the public cloud, or anything in between. In addition to industry-leading expertise in data center design and operations, the Verne Global campus has become the interconnect hub for all subsea cable systems and telecom providers in Iceland. We also host a number of specialized service partners providing on-site support for all the main hardware manufacturers and the most demanding customers. Verne Global’s Operations team complements in-house IT departments and service provider teams, and we pride ourselves in a culture committed to service excellence.
I first started collaborating with Verne as a customer when I led a data center consolidation project for an IT services provider a few years ago. We chose to partner with Verne Global rather than building our own data center, as it made sense from both a business and operational perspective. As technology continues to get more sophisticated, so too has the need for specialized knowledge and service at every layer of the technology stack.
Verne’s facilities are purpose-built at scale to support dense workloads such as high performance computing, artificial intelligence and machine learning. More generally, the campus is designed to meet the full spectrum of enterprise customer needs, creating unique opportunities for service partners to differentiate. Cloud Solutions Providers and SaaS providers use the campus as a production site for their users, or as a secure disaster recovery location. Hosting companies or MSPs looking to service the European market also choose Verne for our proximity to Europe. As part of the European Economic Area, we tick the box for GDPR compliance for an American technology company operating in Europe, for example.
HPC, Data Analytics and AI solutions have played a big part in Verne Global’s rapid growth. Innovation in these technologies continues to accelerate and data accumulates at unprecedented rates. As more businesses further digitize and reside online, the desire to monetize that data is driving a dramatic change in how IT is being consumed. Even with the benefits of new processing technologies, getting business value from increasingly large and dynamic data sets means greater demand for compute power, and the need to support those resources. Add to this the growing concern about sustainability and the need to meet carbon emission targets, sustainable data center solutions like those offered by Verne Global will continue to increase in demand.
An application-centric approach to IT planning enables companies to more effectively capitalize on the benefits of hybrid IT architectures, and will open the doors to scaling the use of public cloud technology and the cost-effective use of emerging data technologies at significant scale. Organizations will be most successful when they position themselves in a service partner and data center ecosystem with access to the infrastructure, space and power they need for the long term, along with the specialized service and support they need to innovate. Whatever the application, Verne Global’s partner ecosystem is ready to help plan, deploy and operate economically and sustainably.
Strategic partnerships and collaboration are key to Verne Global’s success. Stay tuned to hear from guest contributors on the data center to your data and everything in between!