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VW IT begins operations at new computer centre in Iceland

By Graeme Roberts | 23 September 2016

Volkswagen Group IT has taken up occupancy of a computer centre in Iceland. The facility is operated using renewable energy and is especially environmentally compatible. The servers run high-performance computing applications calling for considerable computing power.

"Nowadays, we carry out much of the development and testing work on vehicles virtually. We even simulate new factories on the screen before we build them. All these activities call for a great deal of computing power and demand is steadily growing," said Harald Berg, responsible for networks and computer centres within the group. "With the facility in Iceland, we have adopted a proactive approach. This centre offers space for further expansion and is especially efficient."

The computer centre takes the electricity needed from hydropower and geothermal energy. Thanks to the constantly cool climate of Iceland, the computers can mainly be cooled using ambient air. This reduces additional cooling requirements and lowers energy demand, which also helps protect the environment. The computers are installed in specially protected rooms. Two high-speed data links connect the servers in Iceland with the systems in Wolfsburg. At one gigabit per second, they carry data about 40 times as fast as normal internet connections, of course, the data is encrypted.

The area of the computer centre reserved for Volkswagen can deliver one megawatt of electric power to the servers. By comparison, the two computer centres in Wolfsburg require a total of about six megawatts. Over the past few months, the experts from group IT have worked intensively on the development of the computer centre infrastructure. There are plans for further expansion of capacities in Iceland.