When a Norwegian colocation provider was looking for cutting-edge technologies to further increase efficiency and sustainability at what was already among the greenest data centres in the world, it turned to Vertiv, a global provider of critical digital infrastructure and continuity solutions.
Based in a former NATO facility carved deep in a mountain, Green Mountain’s DC1-Stavanger data centre runs on 100% renewable hydropower and is cooled with water from the fjord, which provides a continuous temperature of 8°C all year round.
The unique location offers a great advantage in leveraging renewable energy sources and minimising cooling equipment for close-to-zero CO 2 operations. However, like all data centres it requires uninterruptible power supplies and thermal management systems to maintain optimal uptime – which is where Vertiv was able to offer a solution.
Green Mountain chose high efficiency Vertiv™ Liebert® PCW chilled water perimeter units, for a total installed cooling capacity of five megawatts. Liebert PCW provides high efficiency standards thanks to a combination of the latest technologies and an internal design that optimises the aerodynamics of all internal components.
We are at the start of 5G deployments and that will also generate opportunities.
Vertiv was also chosen as supplier of UPS systems for another project deployed in parallel, providing several Liebert® EXL S1 UPS systems, supported with lithium-ion battery backup, a longer-life alternative to traditional valve regulated lead-acid battery systems.
Vertiv provides mission-critical infrastructure, including sophisticated cooling systems, power distribution, UPS, monitoring and life-cycle services for data centres. The company serves a range of industries including health care, finance, government, telco, hyperscale/cloud, and manufacturing and industrial processes.
The company launched in 2016 following the sale of the Network Power group of businesses by Emerson Electric Co. to affiliates of Platinum Equity Advisors. In February 2020, the company listed on the New York Stock Exchange as a result of the business combination with GS Acquisition Corporation and has been posting solid quarterly results ever since.
In 2020, Vertiv has a global presence with operations in over 130 countries, approximately 21,000 employees, and sales of about US$4.4 billion (€3.64 billion). “The company’s 2020 financial results were strong.
In EMEA, net sales in the fourth quarter increased by 24.6% year on year, which is very promising,” says Giordano Albertazzi, Vertiv’s President for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Globally, the company’s fourth-quarter results were also encouraging, with sales increasing 11.4% over the same quarter the previous year.
“We are operating in a relatively favourable market, or rather markets, with many components,” Giordano reveals. “The cloud and edge transformation of digital infrastructure is accelerating – that creates a positive environment. We are at the start of 5G deployments and that will also generate opportunities.”
Vertiv is positioning to benefit from mega trends in the industry, Giordano adds. “When it comes to technology, there’s rapid growth. According to Ericsson’s mobility report, global mobile network traffic is growing at about 50% year-on-year, and Vertiv is very much on the front line of helping to support this rising demand for data.”
Innovation and sustainability
Another important trend is a move towards greater energy efficiency, Giordano says. “Digital infrastructure is growing and becoming an increasingly big consumer of energy. Compounded technologies like 5G are clearly very efficient in themselves but are being deployed extensively.
There is a big opportunity for data centres to realise major efficiency gains through orchestration of their infrastructure.
In this landscape, the ability to use energy from renewable sources and the adoption of smart power management are becoming key factors. Technology itself is the route towards new levels of efficiency.”
Since becoming a publicly traded company, Vertiv has stepped up its investment in research and development of innovative technology, spending approximately 5% of sales in 2020 on this initiative.
The company sees itself as being in a unique position to use innovation to benefit from trends in the industry – in efficiency, sustainability and management of IT and telecoms infrastructure.
“We’re operating in an extremely technologically focused type of market, and innovation is key,” Giordano asserts. Many of Vertiv’s customers are moving towards ambitious energy efficiency and carbon neutrality targets. This has created potential for growth in products and services that enable the transition.
“There is a big opportunity for data centres to realise major efficiency gains through orchestration of their infrastructure,” Giordano says.
Vertiv recently introduced new products, software and services that can help optimise energy use in critical applications, such as oil-free compressor chillers that significantly increase the efficiency levels of data centre cooling systems.
It’s not just hardware that has a role to play in improving energy efficiency; the company is also investing in software that can help optimise processes and cut out unnecessary energy consumption with tools like remote monitoring.
“While the industry is starting to take up a bigger portion of the global energy demand, it is very aware of the need to become efficient and sustainable, and it’s moving rapidly there,” Giordano says.
“If you look at big tech and cloud players, it’s amazing what they want to achieve in terms of efficiency and sustainability, and it’s very encouraging. We want to be part of the solution.”
One of the many strengths of the leadership team at Vertiv is that people come from a wide range of nationalities and backgrounds. “We have many countries represented on the EMEA executive team,” Giordano says.
“It’s key for the success of a company that operates across EMEA to make sure that we have people from all over the region. I think this has really enhanced the quality of work and the understanding of the market.”
Vertiv is leveraging its diverse global team to improve and expand many of its business processes, including the recently announced central oversight of the Vertiv channel partner program.
CEO Rob Johnson noted that while Vertiv has a global program to support international opportunities, the tools and benefits are catered to address the unique needs of the partners in each of the company’s local markets.
It’s something Giordano is all too conscious of, as the person tasked with leading the global coordination of Vertiv’s channel partner program in conjunction with regional presidents and their channel organisation.
“We have people in Africa doing what’s needed in the market there. In Russia, it’s different from operating in Portugal. We need team members who understand the local business but, at the same time, can really be part of a tightly knit global fabric,” Giordano says.
“We’re fast-paced, we’re thorough, but we’re also candid. Vertiv is continuously evolving and our progress is very positively received by our growing base of customers and employees.”