I recently chatted with Lex Coors, VP of data center technology at the European colocation provider Interxion. Coors is a founding member of the Uptime Institute and has supervised 28 data center design-build projects and upgrades in 11 countries.
Coors said European data center demand is booming, as he’s working on three projects in London, as well as projects in Amsterdam, Dublin, Frankfurt, Switzerland.
“It looks like the growth never stops,” Coors said. “We’re filling up the data centers fairly quickly still. We’re slowing down a little, but not much. I think everyone is surprised.”
Interxion, like many colo providers in the U.S., is building out capacity modularly, chopping up facilities into self-contained blocks to be as efficient with space and energy as possible.
Interxion is also deploying some new technologies from European partners to do that more efficiently and he gave a few examples.
One product is a new centrifugal chiller designed by Turbocor. Coors said the product has been on the market for three years now and is out of the teething period. The Turbocor chillers are designed to be extremely efficient, especially at partial load — an important feature for an organization that’s ramping up IT demand.
Coors is deploying another technology to help improve efficiency in a partially loaded environment Automatic Floor Pressurisation System (AFPS) from Uniflair, which helps Interexion keep adequate cooling on the servers without wasting cooling capacity if the room isn’t built out to full load.
Lastly, Interxion is using adiabatic cooling, a method that uses less water than other evaporative cooling methods like cooling towers, and is less energy intensive than mechanical cooling. Coors said he is using Transtherm Adiabatic Coolers. The units spray a fine mist across cooling coils evaporating and cooling the air inlet stream.
I asked Coors if he had any concern about risks involved with using cutting edge data center infrastructure technologies, and he said that Interxion had partnered with some of these companies for years, and in fact played a role in how some of the products were developed, and that kind of relationship can help you out if/when his organization ever needs product support.