IT Minister Kaimar Karu launches construction of Baltic’s largest data center
Foreign Trade and Information Technology Minister Kaimar Karu launched the construction of the first phase of the MCF data center to go up in the Saue municipality. The data center will be built in three stages for the total cost of 100 million euros.
According to Minister Karu, the data center is an important project for the state, serving as a safe place for both local start-ups and global giants to settle in Estonia.
„The fact that the largest data center in the Baltic States is going to be built in Estonia shows that investors believe in Estonia’s IT capabilities, including in the field of cyber security. The sum invested in the center is substantial, but the potential impact of the project is going to be far greater – strengthening our position in the region and opening up new possibilities to compete internationally,” Karu said. The minister also praised the construction itself, for its state-of-the-art design and energy efficiency. „The data center does not only have simple server rooms, but also offices and meeting rooms. Hopefully others will follow the example of the carefully considered comprehensive solution of the data center,” Karu added.
According to Kert Evert, CEO of MCF Estonia, the company behind the project, the main clients of the data center will be companies using large volumes of data, coming from the IT, telecom and financial sectors. „The data center is like a bank – people keep their money in banks, we keep their data in our center,” Evert said.
Kert Evert explained that the planning process had taken five years and the data center was going to be the first of its kind in Estonia – the whole project has been developed by taking into account the requirements for a purpose-built data center.
„We picked the location on the border of the Harku and Saue municipalities after careful consideration, based on security, existing data and energy connections, as well as good transport links with the harbour, airport and city center,” Evert explained.
„The data center has to meet extremely high security standards. To achieve this, both physical and electronic barriers will be created and the project has to meet the requirements of the ISKE Three-level IT Baseline Security System applicable in the Republic of Estonia. Nothing like this has ever been built in Estonia,” Evert added.
The data center will have access to data transmission systems of all larger telecommunication operators, including the state, connecting the Estonian and European cities. To ensure energy security, the data center is located right next to the Elering Harku substation, and the connection to the Estlink cable provides additional security. The third layer of security is guaranteed by 200,000 litres of fuel for back-up diesel generators.
The largest data centre in the Baltic States is to be built in three phases. The first 30-million-euro phase will constitute a three-storey building of 14,000 square metres of floor space, which will be ready in the first quarter of 2021. Another two extensions of similar size are planned for the location in Saue. The first building will accommodate up to 1,100 data cabinets with 45,000 servers. Altogether the data center is designed for 3,300 data cabinets with 135,000 servers.
The MCF data center project was launched by renowned and experienced Estonian and Finnish private investors. Among the contributors to the project so far have been Enterprise Estonia, the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications and another ten or so institutions from both the public and private sectors.
The building was designed by architect Mari Kallas and civil engineer Holger Karema. The prime contractor for building the data center is Merko Ehitus Eesti.