Wind turbines set to deliver the edge data centre needs of the future?




A site in Germany is delivering a blueprint as to how turbines can address cloud hosting needs at the edge while also being very green about it.

German wind turbines are set to become the latest sites to serve the needs of cloud edge computing networks, with their own on-board green data centres with technology from Fujitsu. The server and storage technology is powering a near-zero emissions data centre located inside a WindCORES turbine operated by German electricity provider WestfalenWIND IT.

The new hosting solution enables Fujitsu SELECT partner Green IT – Das Systemhaus to offer “highly sustainable and cost-effective” cloud services to its customers.

Designed by WestfalenWIND IT, the WindCORES facility is a Tier 3 data centre operating in Paderborn, Germany. Fujitsu’s energy-efficient PRIMERGY servers and ETERNUS storage systems used in the data centre are keeping the overall draw to a minimum, including the use of efficient AC-DC converters and the latest generation of cooling technology.

As a Tier 3 data centre, the facility is able to offer a reliability level of 99.98%. To date, 92% of the total energy consumed by the data centre has come straight from the wind turbine. The site is connected to two independent electricity providers to ensure both N+1 redundancy and continued operation during the occasional periods when there is insufficient wind to generate electricity.

Dave Hazard, vice president and head of channel and sales operations at Fujitsu EMEIA, said: “Businesses increasingly expect their suppliers to be innovative both in terms of the services they offer and how they deliver them. By working with Fujitsu to co-create a solution based around virtualised services run from the eco-friendly WindCORES data centre, Green IT can help to create a “green cloud”.

Gunnar Schomaker, co-founder of the WestfalenWIND IT group, said: “There is plenty of space inside many wind turbine towers for IT and infrastructure equipment, enabling the low-emissions distributed data centres of the future.

“With WindCORES, providers like Green IT are able to offer a new differentiated portfolio of cloud services to their customers, who also benefit from low power costs and sustainability and a reduction in their overall carbon footprint.”