Options, a private financial cloud provider for the global capital markets industry, plans to build a giant data centre in northwest Iceland, at the very tip of the Arctic Circle.
As part of the announcement, the IaaS provider also confirmed that it soon plans to approach the Icelandic government with a proposal to take a 100-year lease on an area of land in the Westfjords region of Iceland, a large peninsula famous as the most western point in Iceland.
The data centre, scheduled for completion on 1 April 2018, will be the firm’s first in the Arctic region.
The decision to locate Options’ first Arctic data centre in Iceland follows an extensive due diligence process in which the firm evaluated the merits of other Arctic locations including Greenland, Finland and Sweden.
The extremely mountainous, sparsely populated area of Westfjords in Iceland proved the perfect fit. From an environmental perspective, the combination of plentiful geothermal and hydroelectric energy ensures a constant supply of relatively low-cost renewable energy, while the glacial rivers and cool climate offer near perfect conditions to cool servers and boost overall data centre efficiencies. The mountainous region of Westfjords also has huge advantages in terms of security as owing to the steep terrain and often-inclement weather the area is inaccessible for large parts of the year.
Nigel Kneafsey, CEO of Options, says: “We feel that the potential for FX arbitrage between the US and Europe, namely New York, London and Frankfurt, creates a compelling story for hosted algo applications sitting in Iceland. We have always been about constant improvement of our service, be that upgrading to the fastest lines, adding the best switching technology or hiring the best people, and a move into Iceland seemed like a natural next step for us. We also like a challenge in Options and building a data centre in the very mountainous and sparsely populated region of Westfjords offers just that.”