Why Iceland Could Be The Safest & Most Sustainable Location for Your Data

Iceland for Colocation: What Keeps Analysts So Thrilled? asks Opin Kerfi’s Anastasia Alexandrivna

You have most probably heard of Iceland as a hot tourist destination, and no doubt – we are proud of our unique nature and the experience a journey here brings. But why are IT analysts praising Iceland for colocation purposes? Even after a brief research it is evident how superior and unique Iceland is for forward-thinking corporations. Let’s look at the arguments.

It might make more sense to keep your infrastructure under control either on-premise or geographically close by. Why, then, do an increasing number of businesses put their IT off-premise in a colocation and/or outsource their IT altogether and consume them as a service? After hearing enough outsourcing and off-premise horror stories, your enterprise can be put off by these pursuits. After all, is Iceland not a remote island in the Atlantic with an unpredictable nature behavior?

Shortly put, it makes no other sense than business sense – greater opportunities technological advancement, stable forecasts, unprecedented security and no unexpected carbon-footprint fees all comes in the package.

Iceland is the sixth safest nature landscape in the world, according to United Nations (when evaluating natural disaster risk). No need to fear earthquakes or volcanic eruptions impacting datacenters. Even in the case of the famous 2010 volcanic eruption, the Verne Global datacenter in Keflavik stayed unaffected both physically and electricity-wise. Datacenter locations are meticulously chosen – in fact – PWC report that natural disaster risk impacting datacenters is higher in the UK. Additionally, due to the physical separation from mainland Europe, Iceland simply scores much lower in risk factors such as extreme weather.

So now that volcanic eruptions and avalanches are dealt with – what makes analysts like IDC and PWC name them the ultimate colocation?

Those who have already taken the decision to partially or completely collocate or purchase IT as a Service in Iceland are reaping the benefits discussed here both immediately and long-term. The reason to why they keep leading back and forth to one another is because they are connected in an unmatched combination, which one discovers even after the shortest research.

Sustainable energy sourcing is a standard in Iceland, being the only developed nation in the world with 100% green energy.

Icelandic nature should not scare but excite any ambitious, growth-minded business leader, as it provides geothermal, water and wind energy. The National Energy Department of Iceland (Landsvirkjun) boast independence from external fuel providers, which protects any business dealing with Landsvirkjun from unexpected shifts in energy costs. As any machine, computers require vast amounts of energy and green energy sourcing is not only stable in access, but extremely competitive in price.

The energy price today and years ahead as a contract is unbeatable

Due to the above factor, Landsvirkjun are not only confident in a robust electricity grid originally adapted for the aluminum production (which allows no room for failure) but also in the pricing independent from carbon taxes and external suppliers. Volatile power prices are simply outside of influence, meaning that your business can have a set-price agreement for more than 15 years ahead. Green power for premium price does no longer make sense, since the resources in Iceland are right around the corner.

Datacenter cooling is free and part of the environment

This simplifies and brings down costs significantly. If you have experienced heat produced by your laptop, it is easy to understand why cooling is such an essential part of both hardware and datacenter design and – first and foremost – costs. In fact, the cost of cooling is many times higher than initial hardware investment! In the long run, cooling accounts for 40% of the running cost. In Iceland, complex liquid cooling and costly air conditioning systems are redundant since innovative design of datacenters and the low fluctuations in outside temperature make Iceland, in analyst words, the world’s best datacenter location or datacenter paradise.

This brings undebatable stability in expenses and IT continuity for any customer – which allows confidence for the future in more ways than one.

With high availability, low and guaranteed prices for so many years ahead, this brings nothing but stability in forthcoming operational budgets and forecasts. A colocation or service-provider in general that can guarantee pricing for many years to come is not common, and if common, the factors need to be evaluated. The natural resources such as water and wind are difficult to influence, which in this case is a tremendous advantage. So is the connectivity that Iceland boasts to both Europe and United States, all though fiber submarine cables. Today’s performance of the network is outstanding (100%), and because of the physical capacity, there is no uncertainty for meeting increasing demand. Knowing that your service provider is independent from the world energy prices is a bliss especially with the ever-increasing energy demand and tightening legislation around it. In fact, this leads to the next point.

Carbon-Neutrality is rapidly becoming a matter of license to operate, not an extra feature. A sustainable business is a future-proof business preferred by customers.

Energy pricing, carbon tax and instability of the world energy market is tightly knit with many European governments passing the legal imperative for businesses to either dramatically decrease or completely get rid of their carbon footprint. Since this is possible, it is a realistic requirement – but in many cases a costly one, which is why businesses end up paying carbon taxes either directly or indirectly. We only need to look at the price of fuel to understand the instability unsustainable energy sources bring. An incorrect choice can not only cost capital but business stability and continuity. When your IT is co-located or completely sourced from Iceland, legislation, fluctuating energy prices or having to change IT services provider altogether is not an issue. Needless to say, competitive advantage comes as a natural consequence when energy sourcing is strategically chosen.

There really is no safer place for hardware or data

Not only is the country extremely low in crime, boasts political stability and ease of doing business, Iceland is also consistently voted and evaluated as safest datacenter location. With advanced security solutions and the world’s 8th in technological readiness, ranking in the top 10 Global Talent  Competitieveness it looks like the combination of physical safety and necessary expertise in the country ensures complete peace of mind from all aspect of security. The Verne Global datacenter, one of the largest in Iceland, is ranked on top of all as it is located in a former NATO site in Keflavik.

So, in conclusion it seems like the analysts do have something to continue being excited about. The rare combination of environment, resources, innovation and people seems to have come together bringing benefits to both technological advancement fueled by fully renewable sources that are, in fact, safer in both availability and price stability than e.g. fossil alternatives.

At Opin Kerfi, we offer a variety of colocation solutions with flexible service options. You can keep it minimal to break-fix or have us manage all infrastructure completely. We are confident in our experts and advisors who have been the essential factor to establish our strong brand in Iceland and overseas.

Check out our colocation services on Cloud28+and dive deeper into the new way of IT – where you focus on your expertise and we focus on ours, becoming partners toward a more optimized future.


Opin Kerfi are partners of Cloud28+, the open community of over 600 innovative technology businesses, built to accelerate cloud adoption and digital transformation around the globe. It has members located across North America, EMEA, Latin America and Asia. Join free or find out more here.

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