Data centre by Rosenergoatom in Innopolis: two sites, recognisable architecture and green technologies
It became known in late May that Rosenergoatom concern is going to build a data processing centre in Innopolis. Realnoe Vremya’s correspondent headed to the tech town to look at the site allocated for the data centre and find out all available information about the project so far: how it will look, its deadline, who will manage the DPC and if green technologies are going to be used on this site.
“IT-Park can easily take on the management”
An agreement on cooperation among Rosenergoatom, Innopolis SEZ and IT-Park SAI was signed at Digital Industry of Industrial Russia conference in late May.
“Our site interested our colleagues very much, while we, in turn, were impressed by their possibilities when implementing such projects. I will remind that Rosenergoatom concern works on Mendeleyev project — the construction of highly protected data centres in Russia,” Deputy Director in Development and Cooperation with Residents in Innopolis SEZ JSC Vadim Galeyev provided us with the background.
Roles of the three sides that signed the agreement are distributed as follows: the special economic zone will provide its sites, qualified staff and necessary engineering infrastructure. It is also planned to allocate resources of the main step-down substation, which belongs to the SEZ, to implement the project of the DPC construction project. Rosenergoatom concern will share its experience and provide expertise.
The interlocutor of our newspaper said the following about the role of IT-Park: IT-Park is one of the leading players of this market. It has had its own DPC for seven years. We, in turn, provide a site, energy supply, connection to communication networks, but IT-Park can easily take on the management.
“The project is likely to be implemented as two sites”
According to Vadim Galeyev, financial and technical parameters of the project are under development at the moment, that’s why it will be quite hard to make them public. It will get clear in the third quarter of the year. By the way, the site the data processing centre is planned to be built on is absolutely empty at the moment and is a field behind the main step-down substation of Innopolis SEZ.
“Now we are collecting the needs of local residents, our and neighbouring regions. We need to understand how much the DPC will be loaded to create some payback models on this basis,” Vadim Galeyev says. “But I can give a tip: the project is likely to be implemented as two sites. The case is that a new model appears now: modular DPCs, and I am sure our site will have both types. In other words, we presuppose both a site for modular DPCs and a free-standing DPC. I want to believe it. I also hope that the appearance of the data centre will match with the recognisable architecture of Innopolis.”
It is obvious that the launch of the DPC “from scratch” isn’t a piece of cake and takes quite much time considering the construction of a complex of buildings, the uneasy procedure of certification and a number of other stages. For this reason, we can’t hope the data processing centre will open this year.
“With this project, we lay foundation for the first stage. But given the amount of data appearing now in the world (while at this stage we are talking about petabytes of data), the number of DPCs will only grow. And we hope that in this context Innopolis will become an important point in the general network development system of our country,” Vadim Galeyev comments.
“It is very important for us that the harm to ecology is minimal”
The DPC’s high energy consumption leads to large-scale CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, which has a negative impact on ecology. For this reason, responsible constructors and owners of up-to-date data centres try to use green technologies. We decided to ask the deputy director in Development and Cooperation with Residents in Innopolis SEZ JSC if they are planning to choose the progressive path when implementing their project together with Rosenergoatom.
“First of all, here there is a fight for boosting energy efficiency: to have less heat release, to have more calculations per unit of consumed energy. All humankind thinks about it and works,” Vadim Galeyev says. “Generally speaking, in this regard, the situation in Russia is better than in the rest of the world. Firstly, one in five bulbs in our country is energised by nuclear energy. Hydropower is also actively used in our country. Green energy sources account for more than half of the energy balance of the Russian Federation. It is very important for us that the harm to ecology is minimal, this is why the solutions that will be used will be the latest and energy efficient.”
Another peculiarity of DPCs is that they release a huge amount of heat, this is why to avoid systems’ overheating, heat has to be rejected. For this purpose, water and complex conditioning systems are traditionally used. Collected heat energy is often dispersed in the air. However, some countries learnt how to efficiently use it — data centres connect to the central heating system. For instance, the city of Mäntsälä provides Yandex’s DPC with heat in Finland.
“At the moment, it’s the future. Such systems really exist, but they are expensive plus very hard to maintain, while the reliability is of greater priority for us than the possibility of rejecting heat and its reuse. At the same time, nothing impedes us from thinking about it because as a city of the future we should test the latest technologies. Perhaps something similar will be used on the site where modular DPCs will be located,” our interlocutor concluded.