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Another data centre in Vilnius

December 23, 2015

The private limited company Rakrėjus, a subsidiary of web hosting company Interneto Vizija, has opened a new Tier III – that is, a second category of reliability – data centre (DC). The investment in the DC totals EUR 4.6 million. The opening of the new centre will encourage a certain market share change, because until now Interneto Vizija has stored their client and other data in other centres.

Rakrėjus was founded around two years ago. Up to now the company has only been preparing for the launch of the DC as the new building was fitted out and various legal matters were finalised.

‘The data transfer from the servers of our partners is still in progress’, Pranas Slušnys, director general of Rakrėjus, said.

In addition, due to the data transfer the client websites of Interneto Vizija did not work on the 15th of December.

According to UAB Interneto Vizija, around 70,000 companies and private individuals use the company’s services.

Today the centre has 140 server racks and plans more than a three-fold expansion in the future – up to 450. Medium sized and large Lithuanian and foreign companies are the main clients of the company, including Vinted, Tipro, Sekasoft, MBT, SportingPulse, Varle, Senukai, Tamo, Mokipay and Foxbox. International companies account for about 60% of the centre’s customers. Two thirds of them are companies from Eastern countries.

Borrowed two-thirds of the investment sum

Arvydas Štrausas, director of Interneto Vizija (IV), says that the company borrowed two-thirds of the investment from banks, because it did not have sufficient funds for its EUR 1.33 million investment. The estimated turnover of Interneto Vizija this year is about EUR 3.5 million and the turnover of Rakrėjus is about EUR 1 million.

Mr Štrausas says that in the worst case scenario the investment will pay for itself over five years.

The managers of the company say that the decision to invest in the DC has been prompted by its enormous future prospects. Specialists estimate that in the coming years the DC market in Central and Eastern Europe will expand by around 70%. The growth allegedly could only be stopped by a military conflict in the region.

‘According to our assessment, only a quarter of this market will be controlled by large businesses. In addition, we have noticed the need for regional data centres. An increasing part of our life and work is moving to digital spaces. Today we are witnessing a rapid increase in digital video information. Smart phones have become our ordinary everyday devices, while smart plants are tomorrow’s perspective’,  Mr Štrausas said at the press conference.

It is sufficiently cold in Lithuania

In addition, Mr Štrausas maintains, the Internet of Things, whereby all our daily home appliances (from televisions to fridges) will be connected to the network and exchange data, will open new possibilities for data centres. Even more hopes are related to robotisation – for example, self-driving cars or courier drone services.

‘Economics is becoming digital. As a result, the amount of data which needs to be stored is growing rapidly. It is predicted that from 2013 to 2020 the amount of digital information in the world will increase tenfold: from 4.4 trillion gigabytes to 44 trillion gigabytes’, Mr Štrausas commented.

According to Mr Štrausas, Lithuania has a great chance of becoming the leader in data centre services in the region. It is in a favourable geographical location and the country’s climate is sufficiently cold so that cooling of data centres could be carried out in the most efficient and widely accessible way – using ambient air (for most of the year). In addition, Lithuania has a well developed communications infrastructure and, in comparison with other countries of the region, affordable real estate, as well as  highly qualified specialists. The country is an EU Member State, which is very important for a large portion of foreign investors.

Problems: electricity and employees

Mr Slušnys also acknowledges some existing problems: uncompetitive taxation, shortage of IT specialists, and a short-sighted and rigid immigration policy.

Up to now, expensive electricity has been mentioned as the major obstacle to DC development in Lithuania. On Monday, however, electrical connections will be inaugurated between Lithuania, Poland and Sweden, which should solve this problem.

Businesses and politicians are convinced that new connections will ensure the security of electricity supply and reduce the price of electricity for industry and customers. It still unclear by how much the price will be reduced.

The Lithuanian Confederation of Industrialists has calculated that if in 2013 the energy-intensive company Achema operated in Estonia, which was at the time much more integrated in Nordpool than Lithuania, the company would have saved EUR 13 million per year because of less expensive electricity.

Any debates regarding investment in DC in the past also repeatedly emphasised problems with land-use planning. It was said that due to slow and unorganised work of land planners at least one large calibre greenfield investment had been lost.

However, neither Mr Štrausas nor Mr Slušnys could answer whether the situation has improved.

‘We feel that immigration officials are not so keen on helping us, but we haven’t yet dealt with land planners, because ours isn’t a greenfield investment. We established our DC in an existing building we had renovated’ Mr Slušnys said.

DC reliability levels

The Uptime Institute, which provides DC certification, states on its website that, to put it in a simple way, the Tier III certificate shows that the site infrastructure is expected to be available at least 99,982% of the time. In other words, DC services for clients may be unavailable 94.6 min per year. This is over 20.4 hours more than in the case of Tier II DCs which are most widely spread in our region and 27.2 hours more than Tier I DCs.  The highest reliability and security Tier IV DCs must be available at least 99.995% of the time or may be unavailable 26.3 minutes per year. There are few of those in Europe –  in Spain, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Italy.

Source: Verslo žinios

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Aistė Žebrauskienė
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