The Serverius data centre in Dronten has recently put a third phase into operation

Due to the rapid growth of especially the foreign market, the modular data centre was constructed in three, rather than four stages. The new phase has some unique characteristics and a very high availability.

Serverius is a modern, carrier-neutral data centre that is a household name in the (middle of) The Netherlands. Serverius's strength lies in its high-quality data centre services combined with a wide range of available networks. All this creates an extremely stable environment for both hardware and networks for Serverius customers.

What was Good has Become Even Better

The Serverius data centre in Dronten has a modular design and construction. Its design was initially based on four equal-sized data halls that were to be constructed in stages: four quadrants with a technology space in the centre. The first phase was put into operation in 2009. Serverius grew so rapidly, however, that soon the decision was made to build a larger data hall in the second stage than originally planned, with a design that offered the opportunity to scale up in the interim. This year, the remaining free space in the data centre was allocated to the third – and last – data hall. And not a moment too soon, because the first two spaces are now filled to capacity.

Success on the foreign market

Serverius was founded at a time when regional data centres were booming. Managing Director Gijs van Gemert does emphasise, however, that even though Serverius is the largest data centre in the region, it is not actually a regional data centre: “We mainly focus on the foreign market. There is nothing regional about that. Also, the term is no longer in use, really. The distinction does not really exist anymore. After all, where you are no longer matters. The Netherlands has an excellent infrastructure, which means we at Serverius have the same facilities as the data centres in the Randstad. We deliberately chose the foreign market. Half our customers come from outside the European Union, from countries such as India, Russia and Brazil. This is the reason we sought to collaborate with ICTroom, a renowned party that has more than earned its stripes abroad too. Although the former was certainly our main reason for choosing them, the company also has the advantage that it is a very pleasant party to work with. Not a small, local player but a grown up organisation that foreign parties also believe in.”

Serverius has the same facilities as data centres in the Randstad

Huge Internet backbone

Serverius is a carrier-neutral Tier 3 data centre with its own network, says Gijs van Gemert. “There already is a huge bandwidth of 320 gigabits (Gbps), which will be further expanded over the coming period. This is truly unique. Everything is built with double redundancy and connections. The network leaves the road on two sides and has two separate routes to Amsterdam. Customers may use our network, or they can set up their own network. Larger customers, especially foreign customers, often do this themselves by placing a router with uplinks to multiple providers to ensure a high level of availability. Thanks to our excellent reputation and huge bandwidth, various network providers such as NL-IX, Atrato, Unet, Eurofiber and NDIX currently have a POP (Point Of Presence) in our data centre. They offer services to our customers without going through Serverius network services, for instance by using 10G AMS-IX connections or data transport to other locations instead. As a result, Serverius has a wide choice of network service providers, which is quite unusual: not many parties have such a large number of independent network providers on hand.”

The three largest independent network providers on hand

"The new server space has set the standard for all future data centres"

Proven track record

Gijs van Gemert already recognised the potential of the foreign market in 2009, but he did realise that the ambitious target he had in mind could not be achieved in one fell swoop. Van Gemert: “Building up a track record is crucial. This is why we started with a first phase and expanded in stages: with a systematic increase in availability and bandwidth, the right people, and further professionalization of our services. Our customers grew, and we grew along with them so we could continue to meet their wishes and requirements. Throughout all those years, the Serverius data centre never failed once. By now we have demonstrated that Serverius is a healthy, profitable company that is experiencing significant growth. Increasing numbers of serious and large parties come to us because they know we are a stable and reliable partner. The first two data halls are now completely full. Serverius only uses a single server itself, so everything else in there is for customers. By building in modules – using our own resources, we are a family-run business after all –, we have gradually constructed a high-quality carrier-neutral data centre. With the completion of the third server room, we have reached our desired level of quality. What was good has become even better.”

‘Good has become even better’

Redundancy 2N

The first and second server room (redundancy N+1) have a high availability of 99.9%. The availability of the third server room is even higher. Van Gemert: “Because we expand along with the wishes and requirements of the customer, we have started even higher with the latest server room. Thanks to a redundancy of 2N, this room has the highest availability. From now on, customers are able to choose the required availability, with the option to expand if required. The racks in the third room have two separate current paths. Everything in the power circuit to the main distribution frame is double redundant and there are two physically separate current paths running through the building. Naturally, all systems have UPS and a generator plus indirect free cooling air conditioning. It is possible to add extra equipment without interruptions, and it is not necessary to switch anything off for maintenance. We only use reliable premium brands in the chain.”

Expanding along with the wishes and requirements of the customer

A network of data centres

“Due to the excellent collaboration with ICTroom we met the deadlines exactly,” Gijs van Gemert continues. “We have nothing but praise for ICTroom. They always think ahead and give excellent advice. I now have a very salable product that fits our operations to a ‘t’. That may seem simple, but it is not. If you want to have a modular, flexible and scalable data centre with good returns, it is essential to get things right from the first design. Everything went really well and we realised everything without needing to compromise. This was the third data hall, so we already had a lot of experience with each other and are getting better attuned to each other. The new space is exactly what I had in mind from the start. It has set the standard for all future Serverius data centres. We have been planning a network of data centres since 2009. We took this in stages, and are now exactly where we wanted to be.”