With shrinking budgets and belt tightening across all sectors, it’s no wonder some major IT companies have focused on a new way to reduce their bills by moving data centers and servers to countries where climates are typically cooler year around. Their main focus: the Northern Hemisphere.
Iceland is not only home to geysers and volcanoes but the country—roughly the size of Kentucky—also houses server farms. Since the country’s financial crisis in 2008, Iceland has struggled to get back on its feet again. But thanks to the country’s 100 percent renewable and carbon-free energy, generated from water heated below the ground, Iceland has become a hot spot for foreign IT companies who are seeking to slash electricity costs for their data centers and server farms.
Also, due to the cool climate, server farms would never need air conditioning as they do in warmer countries, which could reduce dependency on power and the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the environment.
Cisco and Microsoft already had their eyes set on Iceland in 2007, according to The Register. It was reported back then that Cisco’s server farms in the U.K. were already driven by eco-friendly sources, and the move to Iceland would continue the company’s commitment to seek greener alternatives.
With the rise of cloud computing, some countries have begun positioning themselves as the preferred site for server farms: HP and Capgemini both have moved their server farms to Finland, and Google is building a data center in the Land of a Thousand Lakes, which is set to open sometime this year.
But for those hesitant in moving their servers across the Atlantic there is hope: Researchers from Sweden’s Institute of Technology have discovered that nanotechnology can be used in cooling computer servers and reduce the energy needed to keep temperatures down.