A few days back, digital infrastructure company Equinix has opened its new International Business Exchange (IBX) data centre—MU4— in Aschheim near Munich, Germany.
MU4 is designed in line with Equinix’s global sustainability strategy, which aims for climate-neutral operation by 2030. Like other new Equinix builds in Germany, MU4 will have a green façade and partially planted roof.
The greenery acts as additional natural insulation and cooling, also ensuring the building blends into the cityscape. Further, the next construction phase of the data center is due to see the installation of an Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage (ATES) system. This will enable thermal energy to be stored and recovered, and will help further optimize cooling efficiency, reducing the site’s overall carbon footprint.
The data centre is expected to be powered by 100% renewable energy—purchased through a green power certificate from local supplier, Mainova. In addition to these measures, Equinix is also exploring options to provide waste heat from the MU4 data centre to external consumers in the future.
“We provide companies in Munich with the most dynamic digital infrastructure platform available, and want it to be as climate-friendly as feasible. As the first operator in the industry to commit to science-based climate targets, we continuously explore and invest in new climate friendly technologies to further reduce emissions and save resources. On a local level, we are committed to working with operators, political decision-makers, and energy providers to target the long-term challenges of sustainable digitization to the benefit of the surrounding community. This includes design aspects such as the use of greened facades as well as potential measures supporting the energy transition like the use of waste heat.” Jens-Peter Feidner, Managing Director for Germany at Equinix.
Local digital needs
The development of MU4 aims to support the growing digital needs of local companies—particularly from the automotive, industrial, financial and healthcare sectors—by providing them with direct, secure and fast connections to a multitude of cloud providers, services and partners, Equinix said. The new site is carrier-neutral and offers customers access to a comprehensive digital ecosystem spanning various industries and markets through Platform Equinix.
In addition, customers benefit from Equinix’s colocation and interconnection services, including the software-defined Equinix Fabric service, which enables enterprises to quickly and flexibly connect to leading cloud and network providers. The new facility expands Equinix’s presence in the Munich area, where two data centers—MU1 and MU3—are already in operation.
The opening is part of a series of strategic investments in the German market in response to growing demand for digital infrastructure services. In the fall of 2021, the company opened FR8 and FR9x—new colocation and hyperscale sites in Frankfurt.
Eugene Bergen Henegouwen, President, EMEA, Equinix said: “As one of Europe’s major automotive, manufacturing and tech hubs, Munich is home to some of the world’s most innovative businesses. This makes it a key strategic location for us to invest and grow in. We are proud to start the year with the continued expansion of our German footprint, and look forward to supporting more businesses in Munich as they accelerate their transformation with a powerful and sustainable digital infrastructure.”
The first phase of MU4 provides 2,250 square meters of co-location space and more than 825 cabinets of capacity. To date, Equinix has invested US$90M in the new building and over US$1.6B in Germany.
The company operates 12 data centres in Munich, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Hamburg, as part of a global network of over 235 data centres in 65 markets.
In Asia, efforts to power data centres entirely with renewable energy are well underway. Japan’s data centre operator Marunouchi Direct Acess Ltd has said that since the beginning of the month, electricity needs of all of its data centres are being met solely with renewable power.