The Bavarian car company BMW Group has signed a six-year colocation agreement on high performance computing (HPC) services with Swedish data center operator EcoDataCenter. Under the contract, BMW will receive an additional 4 MW of high-density capacity at the firm’s green facility in Falun, Sweden.
The data center in Falun is known as the world’s first “climate-friendly” data center because excess heat is reused to heat buildings in the area. Other data center operators subsequently launched similar projects.
The automaker has already partnered with EcoDataCenter for the past four years, using its plant in Piteå, Sweden, powered by a hydroelectric power plant, to accommodate HPC workloads. The data center facilities in Piteå are used by BMW for modeling and big data analysis projects in the design of their vehicles. This facility was acquired by EcoDataCenter through a merger in June 2019 in an effort to become the largest data center service provider in the Scandinavian market.
According to EcoDataCenter, the struggle for BMW’s new HPC contract has led to a very real “competitive” war between various players in the data center market in Northern Europe. The BMW Group already has similar contracts with other Scandinavian companies, including the Icelandic provider Verne Global. Moreover, the Bavarian company names the presence of large reserves of renewable energy in the region as a key factor in deciding whether to place its workloads here.
Many cloud and internet service providers are looking to locate their data centers in the region, as the region’s cold local climate allows them to regulate temperatures in their facilities without resorting to energy-intensive cooling methods.