Iceland's nascent data center industry, powered by cheap, renewable energy, could be a growth driver in that nation's economic recovery and the cloud computing revolution. It could also save your company money.
If you're looking to host data between Europe and the U.S., it's worth taking a look at your options in Iceland.
Because of Iceland's unique climate, cooling costs are drastically lower than they are in places like New York and London. And the low cost of electricity helps push pricing down further.
The two big data centers right now are Verne Global and Thor. Both offer a range of services, including co-location. Verne is closer to the main Keflavik airport, while Thor is closer to the capital city of Reykjavik. (They're all pretty close to each other, though.)
Hosting, Cloud & IT Service Providers
Datapipe, Colt, and Opin Kerfi have announced a presence at Verne's facility. GreenQloud, a Reykjavik-based startup, is offering an suite of cloud services similar to Amazon Web Services, hosted in both Verne and Thor's facilities. Others may follow.
What kinds of services are a good bet for hosting in Iceland? The bandwidth situation is much-improved over a few years ago, but if latency is your top concern, Iceland may not be your best option. But Verne Global CTO Tate Cantrell - biased, of course! - estimates that companies could host 75% or more of their services in a facility like his, ranging from ERP and data analytics to backups.
What about taxes? Once upon a time, Iceland's nasty 25% value-added tax on servers was a big roadblock, but it's gone now.
If You Visit, Don't Miss...
One of the fringe benefits of hosting in Iceland is that you get to go there to check out your data center. Reykjavik is a neat place to visit for a couple of days, and Iceland's countryside is beautiful. (Also, everyone speaks near-perfect English.)
I recommend the Icelandair Marina hotel right next to the waterfront in downtown Reykjavik. It's brand-new and super cool. For dinner, check out Grillmarkadurinn or Tapashusid; for breakfast or lunch, Aldin; and for coffee, Kaffismidja Islands.
If you're traveling with an unlocked phone, you can get a prepaid, data-only Vodafone SIM card with 5GB of data for about $15. (Check out the mobile phone shops at the main shopping mall in Reykjavik.) If you want to rent a mi-fi device with service in Iceland, check out Tep Wireless.
And be prepared for sunlight all night long in summer and darkness almost all day in winter!
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.