Swisscom opens data centre in Bern-Wankdorf

Following a two-year construction period, Swisscom is now ready to open its new data centre in Berne-Wankdorf. It is one of the few data centres in Europe certified for maximum availability and with top ratings for energy efficiency thanks to an innovative cooling concept. The new building is the largest of the 24 data centres operated by Swisscom in Switzerland.
Berne, 16 September 2014

Businesses and individuals in Switzerland rely on an efficient and flexible ICT infrastructure that fulfils the highest standards in terms of performance, availability and security. Swisscom is thus building a "360-degree cloud", in which residential customers can store their data and business customers can access their applications. To make this cloud a reality, high-performance data centres are needed like the one Swisscom has built in Berne-Wankdorf together with RZintegral, an architecture and general contracting firm in Berne. Construction on the project began in August 2012. The new facilities will replace the data centre that developed over the years on the periphery of the city bordering Ostermundigen. Swisscom invested around CHF 60 million in the new building.

The new building is designed on a modular principle, permitting expansions whenever necessary in future. This ensures the required degree of investment security for Swisscom and its customers. Initially, there are four modules with access areas for personnel and goods. Swisscom can enlarge the building as needed, up to a total of seven modules. The data centre will be fully operational at the end of 2014, at which point it will house around 5,000 servers with approximately 10,000 customer systems.
The new data centre in Berne-Wankdorf is one of the most advanced and efficient data centres in Europe. Swisscom has thus made a substantial contribution to Berne as a technology hub and to its long-term development. Urs Schaeppi, CEO of Swisscom, expressed his confidence at today's opening: "Reliable data and communication processing are essential for our economy and society in general. In this respect, we have built the new data centre not only for ourselves, but for all of Switzerland. We want to make a significant contribution to creating a networked society."

Recognised for maximum availability and energy efficiency thanks to a sophisticated energy concept

The new data centre is one of the few in Europe to be awarded Tier IV certification for the optimal availability of data and systems. This certification means that the facility is one of the very best in the world in terms of its availability and ease of maintenance. The new data centre also gets top marks for sustainability and environmental compatibility. It is integrated in the city of Berne’s heating network, so that its waste heat can be used directly to heat neighbouring homes and offices. In addition, a hybrid cooling system is used instead of conventional cooling devices, which consume a great deal of electricity. The building will be cooled using recirculated air, supplemented in the height of summer by evaporation. For the first time, this evaporation will be achieved using rain water. An innovative concept for the emergency power supply ensures an uninterruptible and efficient supply of power to the servers, while being environmentally friendly and dispensing with the need for acid batteries. Thanks to these measures, the new data centre has a top energy efficiency rating: 84 per cent of the energy used is converted to computing power. This level of efficiency corresponds to what specialists refer to as a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) rating of 1.2. By comparison, the average PUE value for data centres in Europe is currently 1.9 (efficiency level: 51 per cent).

Key data:

  • Volume of building: 54,000 m3
  • 4 floors: separate ICT infrastructure
  • Glass fibre/fibre optic cable laid: approx. 90 km (equivalent to the distance from Berne to Basel)
  • Start of construction: August 2012, completion; August 2014

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