By Maria Teresa Della Mura
There are several aspects of the IoT and Industry 4.0 environments that are central to the data center. Convinced of this is Luca Beltramino, Managing Director of SUPERNAP Italia and long-time veteran in the world of data centers, from Netalia to Open Hub Med, of which he is one of the founding members. In Siziano, in the province of Milan, SUPERNAP International has opened what is being called the largest and most advanced data center in Southern Europe, with 500 racks and more than 3.6 megawatts of power already sold.
“From the industrial and manufacturing world,” Beltramino says, “there are growing requests for statistical data use which is indispensable for analytics activities requiring efficient recovery and predictive maintenance.” The dynamic is clear: fog computing and edge computing are being used to collect the data directly from the field, but it is then in the data centers that analysis activities are performed.
IoT and Industry 4.0 require a diverse data center topology
“The requests that come from the world of the Internet of Things and of Industry 4.0 demand that data centers are no longer as they used to be. You can’t depend on structures like those found in Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam; you need to think of a different topology in the data centers.”
In reality, explains Beltramino, there are two factors that drive this re-thinking. First, there is a quantitative reason related to the amount of data at play: “You can’t afford to move petabytes of data. The combination of fog computing and edge computing contribute to the growing relevance of peripheral data centers.”
Secondly, it’s a matter of timing: “Warning and alarming must arrive in real-time, and it’s here that, again, you find the combination of fog computing and the data center. For example, think of the world of healthcare and the pacemaker monitoring of thousands of patients. The statistics are in the data center, but the warning must arrive in real-time, as quickly as possible. That’s that point at which the fog collects the data and then sends it to the data center for processing.”
SUPERNAP, therefore, is able to address the growing demands coming from the IoT and cloud markets, “the infrastructure through which at least one-third of the data generated by the billions of connected objects passes.” The logic is that of an ecosystem: not just storage, not just computing, “but also data scientists and a pool of dedicated resources that allow us to connect all the players in the ecosystem: the clients, but also the partners and team of experts.”
What SUPERNAP offers
As for the progress of the work, at the moment the first sector is more than 60 percent full, three other sectors are in preparation and further developments are underway. Altogether they speak of four data halls for a total of 42,000 square meters with 40 MVA of power distributed through two 132 kV transmission circuits. Each rack hosts up to 40 kilowatts of power. Other characteristics include 200 multicarrier fiber couples on independent circuits, a patented Switch SHIELD with dual, independent roofs approved to withstand winds up to 322 kilometers per hour, a 24-hour Network Operations Center (NOC), security and fire protection, in addition to on-net resources for customers, including conference rooms.