Finland and Helsinki offer an excellent environment for data center operators. The well-functioning infrastructure, Russia’s proximity, cool climate and highly-skilled IT-professionals are some of the key reasons why international data center companies are looking towards Finland. A good example is the acquisition of Tenue Oy and Academica Oy by TelecityGroup.
Finland’s market size may not be big, but it lies next to a huge and growing market: Russia. The biggest growth in data transmission in 2011 was seen in Turkey and Russia. Especially the Russian market is expected to grow significantly in the coming years.
– Helsinki is an emerging internet hub city within the strong Nordic region demonstrating significant growth potential and offering easy access to Russia and the Baltic countries. Eighty per cent of traffic between Moscow and Western Europe goes through Helsinki, explains Sami Holopainen, former CEO of Tenue Oy, now responsible for commercial and business development, sales and marketing of TelecityGroup Finland.
Russia is the core source of growth for TelecityGroup Finland – this includes both Russian companies and foreign companies operating or wanting to operate in Russia.
– The closer you are geographically to the data center the faster are the connections. Helsinki and Finland can therefore offer quicker data transmission to and from Russia than other European countries. By acquiring two of the leading data center operators in Finland, TelecityGroup has reinforced its position by operating the most connected data centers serving the growing markets in both Finland and Russia, says Holopainen.
In August 2012, TelecityGroup acquired Finnish Tenue Oy, one of Finland’s leading providers of carrier-neutral data centres. Tenue operates a high quality carrier-neutral data centre with around 1MW of current customer capacity. A new data centre is currently under construction in Vantaa that will offer a further 4MW of customer capacity.
In November, TelecityGroup acquired Academica, a provider with three data centers with 3MW capacity. When the new facilities are ready in the near future the capacity will be 7MW.
– The customer base of Tenue and Academica already demonstrate the strength and potential of this market as a major international data center location. The acquisition of the two major data center operators is a signal of TelecityGroup’s intent to lead this market. TelecityGroup brings the scale and capital to strengthen the business and drive it forward through investment, thus extending the European reach and expanding the geographic footprint in which the Group can grow.
It is not only Russia’s proximity that makes Helsinki an excellent data center location. Data centers need a lot of cooling and cooling needs energy. Finland’s cool climate makes it possible to cool data centers by outside air most of the year. The energy that is needed for cooling during the summer months is cost-efficient in an international comparison. Additionally, infrastructure is world-class in many respects.
– One benefit particularly for Helsinki is that all operators have the optic fibre cables here. This is important for carrier-neutral data centers like TelecityGroup. Additionally, there is space to build even big data centers. This is not the case in many capital regions. Also, Finland has a lot of highly-skilled workers and experts for demanding IT-jobs, continues Holopainen.
These are some of the reasons why international companies are looking at Finland for new business opportunities. The number of international players is expected to grow in the coming years.