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Scandinavian cold could create data storage hotspot

From Juliet Mann and Neil Curry, CNN
February 24, 2012 -- Updated 1531 GMT (2331 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Businesses are moving data storage to purpose-built facilities, says cloud computing CEO
  • The Nordic region is positioning itself as an ideal location for data storage centers
  • The small Swedish town of Lulea has managed to lure Facebook to locate its storage center there

(CNN) -- Businesses are increasingly moving their data storage to big, purpose-built facilities around the world, according to the CEO of Outsourcery -- the UK's leading cloud computing firm.

The growing stream of data that need to be stored is prompting companies to look at alternative ways to keeping the information, rather than simply storing it office-based servers.

"In the informational economy, data is everything," explained Outsourcery CEO Piers Linney. "If you go down for whatever reason, you lose everything."

The Nordic region is positioning itself as an ideal location for data-storage centers, with its cold climate helping the sophisticated, high-powered equipment to remain cool.

Exporting your digital data

"Half of our power is used to cool these things down," says Linney. "If we are in a cooler climate like in the Nordic region it lowers our costs, increases our margins, which means we can offer a lower price to the end user."

Outsourcery is not the only company looking to store data in Scandanavia. A small town in northern Sweden has managed to lure the world's biggest social networking site to establish storage centers there. Construction is currently underway for Facebook's data storage facilities in Lulea -- a town of only around 50,000 residents.

"They need to improve their capacity because they have more customers outside the U.S. than in the U.S., so that means they have to be closer to their customers," says Matz Engman, CEO of the Lulea Business Agency.

Lulea's cold climate serves as natural way to cool the servers, and the town has cheap and plentiful electricity. Local authorities hope other technology companies will follow Facebook and develop their storage centers in the town.

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