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BMW Group signs six-year HPC contract with eco-friendly Swedish colocation firm

Motor manufacturer agrees to double-down on its use of EcoDataCenter's environmentally friendly colocation facilities

The BMW Group has signed a six-year, high-performance computing (HPC) deal that will see it grow its existing colocation footprint with Swedish operator EcoDataCenter.

The contract will see BMW take on an additional 4MW of high-density colocation capacity within the firm’s eco-friendly facility in the Swedish town of Falun.

As previously reported by Computer Weekly, the Falun datacentre is notable for being the world’s first “climate-positive” datacentre, with its excess heat being reused to warm buildings in the locality.

The motor manufacturer already has existing ties to EcoDataCenter, having relied on its hydro-powered facility in Piteå, Sweden, for the last four years to house the HPC workloads it uses to run simulations and big data analytics projects to inform the design of its cars.

This facility, incidentally, was acquired by EcoDataCenter through a merger in June 2019 in support of its wider push to become the largest datacentre provider in the Nordic market.

According to EcoDataCenter, BMW reached a point where it needed to expand its HPC footprint, resulting in a “competitive” bidding war among various Nordic datacentre players for the contract, which it succeeded in securing.

“We are very happy and proud to have won this contract with BMW,” said Magnus Angermund, chief marketing officer at EcoDataCenter. “The fact that BMW chooses us as a partner proves that we have an offer that attracts customers with very high demands.

“It feels good to be able to support BMW secure its HPC operations and at the same time strengthen its sustainability profile within IT.”

Read more about Nordic datacentre builds and deals

BMW Group has signed HPC-focused colocation deals with other players in the Nordics, including Iceland-based provider Verne Global, with the company citing the region’s abundant renewable energy supplies as a key factor in its decision to site such workloads there.

It is also a popular location for colocation and hyperscale cloud and internet providers to site facilities, as the region’s naturally cold climate makes it easier for them to regulate the temperature of their datacentres without needing to rely on energy-intensive mechanical cooling methods.

“We see a clearly increasing demand for sustainable datacentres,” said EcoDataCenter CEO Lars Schedin. “And we are very well positioned to receive more customers with the same high demands as BMW.

“With our highly skilled team and our fantastic facilities, I look forward to the future. Our journey has just begun.”

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