«The quest to improve energy efficiency is a major part of my identity.»
Green-Blog: Is sustainability a problem or more of a challenge when you’re designing a data center?
Andrea Campomilla: Sustainability is the kind of challenge I like. It forces me to constantly rework ideas and find new solutions. So during the implementation phase I make sure that our construction planners don’t resort to run-of-the-mill products and instead see what the market has to offer in terms of new, more efficient products and services.
How does your approach differ from that of other data center engineers?
I get started with the conceptual work early on. The demand for data centers has increased dramatically, so you don’t have as much time for new projects as you did in the past. Good planning reduces time pressure. And the more time we can put into preparing, the better the data center will turn out.
You have over 20 years’ experience building data centers. What has been the biggest change during that time in terms of sustainability?
Cooling systems have undergone impressive evolution over that time. Cold- and hot-aisle containment now offer major energy savings. And cooling aggregates have greater surface area now, which means we can not only remove the heat generated by the servers but also bring in cold air. This free cooling method saves us additional energy.
There have been huge leaps in data center design. Is there really much room left for more efficiency?
Absolutely. I can’t see it any other way. The quest to improve energy efficiency is a major part of my identity as an engineer. You’re always looking for new solutions. One of the reasons this works so well at Green is because we have our own in-house engineering department and as a team we keep developing the design and concept of our data centers.
Your latest big project is currently underway in Dielsdorf (Canton of Zurich). What are you most proud of in terms of the design of the data center at the Metro Campus?
We managed to increase the reliability of the data center and also improve availability while reducing the effort involved. In addition, we significantly increased energy efficiency, particularly in the area of cooling technology, where we used new products without tying ourselves to any one manufacturer.
Zurich Metro Campus
The future of cloud computing is happening now: for its new Zurich Metro Campus, Green is building three high-performance data centers and modern office facilities. With this major project, we are a step closer to our vision of establishing Switzerland as Europe’s leading data hub. This is what future-proof innovation looks like