Green Mountain aims to attract UK businesses to its Norwegian data centres

Targets London's financial services sector with 'cheaper Norwegian energy'

Norwegian data centre provider Green Mountain is touting for business from UK companies, having turned on its second facility in Norway this week.

The company's CEO, Knut Molaug, hosted 120 IT professionals across various sectors at an event aboard a boat on the River Thames in London last night in a bid to convince them to store and process their data in Green Mountain's data centres in Norway.

Last May, Green Mountain opened its first data centre in Stavanger, Norway, inside a mountain once used to store NATO military ammunition.

Only 1,500m2 of a possible 12,000m2 is being used for computing operations at the Stavanger site but Molaug said the new site, situated in a town called Rjukan, fits in with the company's wider strategic plan.

Molaug was keen to highlight that DNB, the largest financial services group in Norway, is moving into the new facility, which was built and designed by Schneider Electric in just six months. DNB is using the data centre as its disaster recovery site, according to Molaug.

But the CEO of the relatively young company said he is keen to drum up business from UK customers too.

"The price of energy in Norway is significantly lower than what you can achieve in the UK," he said.

Green Mountain prides itself on powering its data centres with 100 percent renewable energy. The company claims this is possible because of Norway's heavy reliance on hydropower, which accounts for roughly 98 percent of the country's energy mix.

The new 21,000m2 site, which is about to be certified as a Tier III data centre by regulator The Uptime Institute, has good access to power as it sits in a valley bordered by two hydroelectric power stations.

"There are four other within a range of five kilometres," added Molaug.

Molaug said he is specifically targeting businesses in the City of London's financial services sector as they demand the high level of security that Green Mountain can offer.

"We are a high-security facility so we're looking at banking, finance and insurance industries," he said.

However, banks and financial service companies are renowned for choosing data centres within a few miles, not a few hundred miles, because of the low latency connection they require.

Molaug said data can be transferred between London's Square Mile and Green Mountain's new data centre in 6.5 milliseconds.

He admitted this was probably too high for the high-frequency trading floors, but argued that it would more be more than sufficient for 85 percent of a bank's operations.

"The latency is very low because it [the fibre] stops on oil rigs and then continues," said Molaug. "Normally when you go on land it would make a hundred stops before [it reaches the end client] and that's what creates delays."

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