Green Mountain Data Centers’ Svein Hagaseth Tells Genesis of Award-Winning DCIM Platform at CapRE Data Center Workshop
by Josh Anderson
SANTA CLARA, CA — Svein Atle Hagaseth is the Senior Vice President for North America at Green Mountain Data Center, Ltd. With two data centers in Norway and plans to develop in other regions, Green Mountain Data Centers design, build, and operate high-security, robust wholesale colocation data centers that operate on 100% low-cost, renewable power and use free cooling, creating unique power efficiency. Both of Green Mountain’s data centers, DC1-Stavanger and DC2-Telemark, have achieved Uptime Institute Tier III certification as the only Nordic colocation provider. At CapRE’s recent Northern California Data Center Operations, Engineering and Architecture Workshop in Santa Clara, Hagaseth joined Jad Jebara of Tuangru to provide a keynote presentation about Green Mountain’s award-winning use of data center infrastructure management (DCIM) platform, Green Peak. Below is the first in a series of transcriptions of that keynote.
“Green Mountain is a European-based colocation provider,” Hagaseth began. “We are based out of Norway where we have two very different data centers. One is placed right inside a mountain hold, and a base where we have six different mountain halls inside a mountain. We operate on some pretty cool technology to create high efficiency. Amongst other things, we use a fjord outside of our data centers. We actually use different types of water from 100 meters down, which is eight degrees Celsius, and we just have two small pumps that circle the data center inside the center. So we use about 3 KW of power to get bout 1000 KW of cooling. It’s very high efficiency. We are based in a Tier-II market so we need to think a little bit differently, cooling wise.”
“But I’m here to talk about the DCIM side of things,” he continued. “We have created a solution called Green Peak, which all of our clients get when they are buying services from us. The reason we came up with this solution is that we are opened by a Norwegian company that started in shipping and moved into real estate and now owns us 100%. And that gives us the ability to do a lot of long-term planning in terms of where we actually want to go. And Green Peak was one of the solutions we actually wanted to capitalize on. We learned a lot from that.”
“So our data center headquarters is based out of Stavanger, the gas capital of Norway,” explained Hagaseth. “Gas, sub-sea or offshore, is Norway’s strongest asset. It’s very hard to maintain though, as it’s situated about 1000 feet below sea level. So when you do things, you need to make sure that you don’t have to send down a submarine to do a repair. So it took a lot of thinking about how they think, how they automate, and how do they make sure that that process is constantly running. Going down for even a minute on an oil or gas platform is something you don’t want to do. It reduces your revenue by $250,000-$300,000 just being down for fifteen minutes. So you want to make sure that the platform is always pumping.”
Hagaseth said they though a lot about how that worked — how that efficiency was created. “We also got a lot of incentives from the Norwegian government,” he added. “The Norwegian government has done a lot of improvements to stimulate the data center industry lately. They reduced the electricity tax from New Year’s last year in a new national budget that both incentives innovative new ideas but also puts a lot of money to improve the day to day side. They put a lot of money into this, in addition to the natural conditions in Norway, which are perfect for data center development.”
“So what did we do before Green Peak?” he asked the room. “We built our company in 2009 and went operational in 2012. And we got our second data centers in 2013. Before we started Green Peak we did a lot of manual processes. Everything we did was based on spreadsheet, different systems, a lot of manual reports. 40 different PDF documents that we used to show our clients that we were delivering on our commitment. This was quite extensive when you have a very new organization. We’re only 25 people today. And we’re not going to grow with a lot more people either, because one of the things we have to be is cost-competitive. Hiring a person in Norway is like hiring someone in San Francisco. It’s very expensive.”
“So we started creation of something called Green Peak,” he recalled. “All of our clients get a password based on a fully automated set up. They go to a portal and access everything they need in relevance to their delivery. So we show them a snapshot over the last 180 minutes where they can drill down into any level they want to see. We do all of our invoicing from this system. It collects the cost of power from the Norwegian or Nordic power system stock pole, and creates an invoice. All of the reporting for SLA reports is also created in this system. Now, onto how we made that happen…”
Interested in reading more about how Green Mountain implemented this system? Stay tuned to CapRate’s Insider Reports for the rest of Hagaseth’s presentation as well as input from colleage Jad Jebara, Tuangru.