Tuesday, 18th June 2019
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Frankfurt successes for maincubes

maincubes, a European data center owner/operator providing German-engineered colocation data center infrastructure for its global clientele, part of German construction conglomerate Zech Group, has signed up two DAX-listed companies as well as another high-profile customer active within automotive and telecommunications for its data center in Frankfurt, Germany. The latest DAX-listed customer is currently migrating its IT infrastructure to the data center in Frankfurt, which will result in this colocation facility being full for 80% now.

While planning for further expansion across Europe, maincubes currently owns/operates two colocation data centers in Europe including its data center in Frankfurt – a 4,200 sq. meter (45,208 sq. ft.) facility that started its operations in October 2017 - as well as a new data center in Amsterdam Schiphol-Rijk, the Netherlands, that was opened three months ago. A little more than a year after starting its data center operations in Frankfurt, maincubes sees its whitespace in FRA01 now for 80 percent filled.

“We obviously hit the right spot with our highly efficient and extremely secure colocation data center design, German-engineered facilities so to say,” said Albrecht Kraas, co-founder and CTO of maincubes. “German-engineered in our case means that we do not take any risks whatsoever when it comes to the data center design and the technologies being implemented. This kind of engineering obviously attracts high standard customers, as we now have two DAX-listed companies signed up as our customers.”

In contrast to the Frankfurt facility, maincubes Amsterdam AMS01 totaling 47,361 sq. ft. (4,400 sq. meters) and 4.7MW of IT power still has quite some whitespace available left. With a mixed retail and wholesale approach, this maincubes facility in Amsterdam currently offers an 11,840 sq. ft. (1,100 sq. meters) private data center suite with a capacity of 1.7MW, while another private suite being offered counts 9,687 sq. ft. (900 sq. meters) and is able to support 1.3MW.

‘German-engineered’

When maincubes CTO Albrecht Kraas is mentioning ‘German-engineered’ colocation data centers, he is referring to German thoroughness becoming visible in its extremely redundant and highly efficient power, cooling and security design aspects.

“For our Frankfurt facility we have been using an Isolated Parallel (IP-bus) configuration for example, which is why we are able to provide a 100% uptime SLA for the overall power of the facility,” added Mr. Kraas. “Isolated Parallel means that all the UPSs are lined up in a ring configuration. If any of the UPSs would fail the ring would be opened via magnetic impedance and turning it into a bus bar. As a result, the calculated Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) rate for FRA01 is one event in 3,5 million operating hours. A year has 8,760 hours. If you recalculate that, this brings us a power SLA of 100%.”

Bulletproof Walls, Anti-Tailgating

Next to its power redundancy features, also the security measures and technologies being implemented in Frankfurt are examples of maincubes’ ‘German-engineered’ colocation design approach, stated Mr. Kraas.

“In Frankfurt we have EN50600 and ISO 27001 certifications being achieved from day-1, which illustrates the thoroughness of our security approach for this location,” added Kraas. “The four-story building is not only fenced and staffed with 24/7 dual security personal onsite, it also has bulletproof walls and windows. In line with the most stringent security directives, this data center has five security zones while two times you have to pass an anti-tailgating system with 3D video cameras and a biometric entry check before you’ll be allowed to enter a data hall.”

Frankfurt - Kyoto Cooling, PUE: 1.3

In the data halls in maincubes FRA01, silent nozzle technology from Siemens is used to lower sound pressure and avoid any possible rotating hard disk crashes. “We know that you’ll seldom find a technology like this in a data center, because it is not that cheap,” added Mr. Kraas. “In line with this ‘no-risk’ approach, we implemented KyotoCooling technology - resulting in an extremely stable cooling performance with a guaranteed energy-efficiency rate of 1.3 and lower.”

The CTO of maincubes emphasizes that its risk-averse investments and stringent security measures are still resulting in highly competitive offerings and flexibility on the data center floor. “Our initial investments in Frankfurt could be a bit higher than average, but viewing the OPEX it brings maincubes and our customers great advantages. At the same time, our security infrastructure investments are not in the way of customer behavior and choice. Customers can practically choose whichever brand or setup they would like to have, including racks, aisle containment, power distribution, cabling management, and more.”

Amsterdam - Free Cooling, PUE: 1.37

For every new colocation data center rollout by the company, we might expect an adjusted development route though. “For our Amsterdam AMS01 data center being opened in September, we took a more pragmatic approach as it was not a greenfield data center development,” added Mr. Kraas. “Even so we did a respectable 10-million investment in Amsterdam AMS01 to have the acquired data center being transformed into a fully modernized facility meeting the ‘German-engineered’ maincubes standards. The Amsterdam data center project was actually led by the same German company as the one that we developed maincubes Frankfurt with, namely Argos. An example of German solidness in Amsterdam can also be found in the design of our generator infrastructure, which has an N+1+1 setup.”

Featuring Free Cooling, maincubes Amsterdam AMS01 is able to achieve almost the same Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) Level as maincubes Frankfurt. “We did an 80 percent test load in Amsterdam and the Building Management System then showed us a PUE value of 1.37 which is also quite energy efficient,” added Mr. Kraas. “Some clients ask us, what’s next? London? Paris? But we’re not focused on the main Internet hubs only when further planning our data center expansion in Europe. Under the influence of developments like IoT, we also see a need for ‘edge’ data centers and data center presence outside the main Internet hubs as well as the need for secure marketplaces for companies inside our data centers. For that reason we have been developing our SecureExchange platform. Our view is quite broad actually when it comes to adding new data center locations in the near future. We might even decide that our next step will be expanding our existing data center locations in the Netherlands and Germany."

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