Justin Vela

The best idea in Finland…

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HELSINKI-Looking over them, the last few posts have essentially been about me struggling to say that Finland was enjoyable for more than being inside and writing and reading.

Of course there is a lot that is enjoyable in Finland. The purpose of my visits to this country has simply been to be inside and write and read. Mission Accomplished!

While in Helsinki I also managed to discover the best idea in Finland.

The Finnish IT company Academica has installed a two megawatt database server center in an empty World War II bomb shelter beneath the 19th century Orthodox Uspenski Cathedral in downtown Helsinki.

The water warmed while cooling the servers will go on to provide heat for 500 homes or 1,000 flats in a city that often suffers winters of minus 20C. After the heat is extracted, the water will be recycled back to cool the servers again.

The first green database center of its kind, this project takes advantage of the kilometers of tunnels that run beneath Helsinki. The tunnels were designed by some seriously forward thinking Finns decades ago, virtually a city of their own beneath Helsinki!

The database center is set to go live in the middle of May and stands as a revolutionary idea in this world of increased cloud computing and expensive energy. I have a story on this unique use of green energy in the May 2010 issue of Monocle and two forthcoming articles as well. The weather may make people stay inside, but that has good results. Look for Finland to be a place for good ideas and innovation in the coming years.

The rest of my articles from Finland are about to be published next month. Stay tuned!

The tunnel leading to the WWII bomb shelter where the Finnish IT company Academica will store the country's first green database center. Helsinki, Finland 4 March 2010.


Written by Justin Vela

April 30, 2010 at 6:25 am

Posted in Europe

Tagged with , , , , , , , ,

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