Customers drive connectivity.

Fast, low-latency connections combined with abundant sustainable, low-cost power make the Nordics a highly desirable location for data centers.

In an increasingly digital world connectivity is becoming a major factor in how successful businesses, or even countries can become. Sufficient bandwidth, high speed transmission for low latency, are critical for many digital applications, from streaming video to financial transactions. Typically, this bandwidth is delivered by fiber-optic cables increasingly encircling the globe.

Recent announcements from private firms, governments and joint ventures have rightly celebrated new cables ‘landing’ in the Nordic regions. These deep-sea cables provide welcome connectivity to systems and economies around the world. The Nordics is now one of the best-connected regions in the world with connections to the US, UK, across Europe and imminently via the Arctic to China.

These cables allow Nordic businesses to connect to customers, resources, and partners around the world. They also allow international businesses, including the hyperscale cloud providers, to set up local points of presence to better serve consumers and businesses in the region. In addition, fast, low-latency connections combine with the abundant, sustainable, low-cost power to make the Nordics a highly desirable location for data centers.

Customers Drive Connectivity
But there are two sides to every connection. There is little point locating your compute resource at the end of a sub-sea cable if your customers are still 100’s of KM away. For many digital services the latency between data center and customer is more important than the latency between the data center and resources across the globe. The trend towards ‘edge’ data centers is driven by this need to put data and compute resources as close to the ultimate user as possible.

By their nature, sea cables tend to terminate in remote areas on the wild western shores of Norway – places that are difficult to reach and where there are few people or businesses to serve. They may make sense to some whose business is entirely at the other end of the sea cable in the US, but for many the remoteness from Nordic businesses and populations, plus the difficulty in getting engineers and other staff to the facilities will lead them to question the viability of a location so far from the edge.

An Enabling Ecosystem
A data center is not just an on-ramp to a cable – it should enable businesses by providing a vibrant ecosystem that supports all their needs. This means offering storage, compute, power and cooling close to where businesses operate. For a hyperscaler it means locating cloud points of presence close to the businesses that will use them. For enterprises it means not only locating corporate IT assets close to operations, but where colocation and cross-connection with cloud providers leads to easy to manage, fast hybrid solutions.

In many ways today’s data centers are the marketplaces of the digital world. Businesses thrive in busy centers when they can access multiple ISPs, cloud providers, local partners and suppliers and benefit from easy connections under the same roof. This truly enables business by providing choice and flexibility to remain agile.

Connection or Interconnection
The digital economy is powered by interconnectedness. Point to point connections provide limited value whereas networks have a multiplying effect. To an international business the Nordic region may seem small and homogeneous and easily served through a single point. But, as many are quickly realising, it is important to be close to businesses in all three major economies in the region; Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Businesses quickly want presence in data centers in Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen to fully cover these markets.

With DigiPlex Nordic Connect international businesses can have the best of both worlds. The five (and soon to be seven) DigiPlex data centers across the region are all interconnected with fast, secure, dedicated and private connections meaning that customers can connect resources in different data centers as easily as if they were in adjacent racks. The Nordic Connect Platform also offers direct connection to numerous carriers and internet exchanges seamlessly integrating with global networks and data fabrics plus direct on-ramps to major cloud providers including AWS and Azure.

The increasing number of sea cables connecting the Nordic region to the wider world is a welcome indicator of its increasing importance in the digital economy. But you don’t need to locate your data and compute resource far away from your business or your customers to benefit. Vibrant data centers which enable business and technical connectivity close to the people and organisations you serve still benefit from these global connections, without the isolation.

Article written by Joachim Kauppi, Director International Sales