Romania's first hyperscale data center is powered by green energy.
ClusterPower owns and operates the first Tier III data center in Southeastern Europe. The data center uses a variety of Cisco technologies and produces its own power from natural gas and hydrogen.
Industry: Technical services
Location: Bucharest, Romania
Size: 30 employees
Partner: Arctic Stream
With a lack of local hyperscale data centers and cloud services, many Romanian enterprises and research institutions have traditionally exported their digital projects, workloads, and investments outside the country.
In addition to raising data sovereignty and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance concerns, these foreign deployments have become exceedingly expensive due in large part to skyrocketing electricity prices in the region.
To address the need for local, affordable colocation and cloud services, ClusterPower built a groundbreaking data center campus in Southern Romania that is powered by green energy and driven by Cisco technologies.
"We have expertise in both IT and energy engineering, and we set out from the very beginning to establish an entirely new, fully sustainable business model," says Vladimir Ester, chief technology officer and cofounder of ClusterPower. "We also wanted our technology foundations and services to be as advanced as our physical infrastructure, and Cisco was the perfect partner."
“We couldn't do this with any other technology vendor. Cisco has been the best partner to help build something this ambitious, and their computing platforms and network fabric architecture provide the best foundation for client infrastructure and services.”Vladimir Ester, CTO and cofounder
ClusterPower's 25,000-square-meter technology campus is the largest data center facility in Romania and the first in Southeastern Europe with dual Tier III certifications for Design and Facility* from the Uptime Institute. The company intends to build four similar data centers in other parts of the country in the near future.
Not wanting to rely on—or pay for—public utilities, ClusterPower built its own microgrid that produces energy from gas and hydrogen. Using absorption chillers and combined cooling, heat, and power (CCHP) techniques, the facility even captures and recycles heat generated from its high-density technology systems, transforming thermal energy into a cooling agent that is used to air-condition those same systems.
"Data centers are some of the largest energy consumers on the planet. At a time when energy resources are limited and costs are rising, it's important to be more sustainable," Ester says, noting the facility's Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) rating of 1.1, which is roughly 35% more efficient than the industry average. "Because we produce our own energy, we save a vast amount of cost and can pass those savings to our customers."
In addition to pursuing efficiency and sustainability, ClusterPower also wanted a technology foundation that delivers state-of-the-art digital solutions and services and supports the most critical workloads.
"One of our goals is providing highly elastic services that give our customers both flexibility and scalability," Ester explains. "We're using Cisco UCS X-Series [Modular Systems] that are certified for SAP HANA and come with the latest CPUs and very large memory capacity. It's an extremely powerful platform, and we can scale from a single virtual machine to 10,000 virtual machines in a single day if needed."
The server footprint spans multiple data rooms and is connected with a Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) Multi-Pod network fabric.
"It's too tedious and time consuming to manage tenant environments individually," Ester says. "We're using the multitenancy and microsegmentation features of Cisco ACI to drive operational consistency and efficiency while maintaining full isolation and protection of each client environment."
Cisco Intersight is also aiding operational consistency and efficiency across ClusterPower's compute environment, he adds. The cloud-based operations platform provides templates and automation that help accelerate infrastructure and service deployments.
"With Cisco Intersight, we have a single platform for managing all of our servers, applications, and client environments," Ester explains. "It's fast and easy to onboard new tenants and customize our services to fit their needs."
Using its first data center campus as a blueprint, ClusterPower is preparing to build additional facilities and expand its business into new markets in Romania and beyond. The Cisco UCS X-Series server architecture will be fully replicated, the data centers will be synchronously connected within the company's Cisco ACI network fabric, and the distributed compute environment will be centrally orchestrated using Cisco Intersight.
"We couldn't do this with any other technology vendor," Ester says. "Cisco has been the best partner to help build something this ambitious, and their computing platforms and network fabric architecture provide the best foundation for client infrastructure and services."