Hamburg, Germany, September 2021 – The Amsterdam-based sustainable data center operator and developer Switch Datacenters has become one of the Sustainable Digital Infrastructure Alliance’s (SDIA) latest members, joining forces to realize a sustainable digital economy.
“For us, SDIA is a platform that combines real sustainability knowledge and strong EU lobby expertise with forward-looking operators and suppliers,” said Edgar van Essen, Managing Director at Switch Datacenters.
Switch Datacenters was founded in 1998 by a group of young entrepreneurs active in the hosting and Internet infrastructure business in Amsterdam. Within a few years, the startup developed into a national leading web provider and later hosting company in the Netherlands. After building and operating several data centers for their own use and for fellow hosting companies, as well as acquiring a data center from a global leading IT company, Switch Datacenters now fully focuses on design, operation, and wholesale of data centers in Amsterdam. Switch Datacenters aims to become the largest independent, 100% Dutch sustainable data center developer and operator in Amsterdam, and they already hold large wholesale and hyperscale sites at core locations.
"We are very excited to welcome Switch Datacenters to the Alliance," said Max Schulze, SDIA’s Executive Chairman. “It’s a great opportunity to continue working on ways to improve heat reuse capabilities, and maximize our shared vision for a sustainable digital sector.”
Established in 2019, SDIA is a nonprofit network of more than 65 organizations working to catalyze the transition to sustainable digital infrastructure. It aligns all actors of the digital ecosystem – from energy supply and data centers, to fiber-optic networks and software – on the mission of fostering a sustainable digital economy and realizing its Roadmap to Sustainable Digital Infrastructure by 2030.
Stepping up to advance sustainability and power optimization
As one of SDIA’s latest members, Switch Datacenters will aim to steer the discussion on managing the power-hunger of data centers to those parties that are at the core of the power usage in these facilities.
“As a data center industry, we need to step up and push the sustainability and power optimization discussion to the parties that actually are at the core of the power usage trend in data centers: the active hardware manufacturers,” van Essen stressed. He added: “Of course, there is a small optimization role still to play for data center operators by choosing and implementing more efficient cooling in the data centers. But the largest gains can be made by enforcing hardware manufacturers and their customers to choose sustainable hardware instead of the standard hardware used for many years.”
The growth of data centers is directly linked to the continuous growth of chipset capabilities and broadband infrastructure deployments, allowing users to consume more and more data on more and more devices across distances and geographies. However, as there is seemingly no end to the ever-growing need for data, more and more central and decentralized optimization hubs for handling and storing data will be needed. Therefore, data centers will always be a critical part of such optimization hubs, where data will be stored and handled in a shared environment in a more efficient and sustainable way than by each customer storing their own data.
“That is why we at Switch Datacenters try to educate our customers and even stimulate our customers to choose more sustainable hardware for data centers, which enables us to provide cooling at less overhead costs, less power use, and at the same time, allowing us to siphon off the server heat in order to reuse or resell it to heat up, for example, local district heating networks.” van Essen said.
Continuously challenge the polluters in the industry
Switch Datacenters being the local challenger based in the first city in the world to put tough restrictions on the use and efficiency of data centers for sustainability and city planning reasons, also welcomes sharing of best practices with fellow innovative companies who like to challenge and lead the industry.
The addition of Switch Datacenters to the Alliance will mutually benefit both parties as they strive for an ecologically and economically sustainable digital infrastructure.
“We, as forward-thinking leaders, need to continuously challenge, and where necessary, de-mask the many polluters in the industry who still use sustainability as a corporate marketing and public affairs tool without the real, intrinsic dedication to really change their installed base and ways of working.” van Essen concluded. “Change and leadership in the industry comes with a strong belief and quest to contribute to change the world, not just to optimize shareholder value.”
Established in 2019 and based in Hamburg, Germany, the Sustainable Digital Infrastructure Alliance e.V. (SDIA) is a nonprofit network of more than 65 members and partners working to catalyze the transition to a sustainable digital economy. The SDIA brings together stakeholders from across industries and fields, both public and private, to realize its Roadmap to Sustainable Digital Infrastructure by 2030. It is meant to offer a holistic, systems-thinking approach to solving the challenges facing ICT sustainability, ranging from energy supply and data centers, to fiber-optic networks and software.
About Switch Datacenters
With more than 10 years of experience in designing, building, running and operationalization of datacenters in the leading sustainable city and connectivity hub of Amsterdam, Switch Datacenters are able to provide any solution for professional datacenters users. Backed by strong private Dutch capital and a widely experienced, innovative and entrepreneurial team, Switch Datacenters builds and operates next generation sustainable data centers in Amsterdam in a smart way at smart locations, enabling maximum reuse of scarce resources and maximizing contribution to the local environment and its ecosystems.
For more information, please contact:
Michael J. Oghia, Director of Communications & External Relations, Sustainable Digital Infrastructure Alliance e.V. Email: [email protected]