June 2013.- AST Modular is a leading company in the Date Centre sector, committed to the efficiency and optimisation of client ROI, via the building of modular, safe and energy efficient Data Centres. Based in Barcelona, with offices in Asia Latin America and the USA, it has built over 450 Data Centres in 30 countries. It has pioneered the construction of Data Centres in shipping containers, minimising start up times and maximising flexibility and scalability. Máximo Escriche is the Sales Director Iberia in AST Modular.
What is a Data Centre?
A data centre (or Data Processing Centre) is a physical space with the necessary equipment to process information of any company or organisation. Its size may vary depending on the equipment and facilities installed. These spaces must be designed to optimise the output and durability of the equipment. This is achieved by using specific materials that attain optimum insulation levels and protection from ambient conditions.
The data centre market is a growing and very competitive market. In today’s world information is one of the most valued assets of companies and government organisations. The risk of information loss means it is essential to have a specifically designed space that takes into account all possible contingencies that could endanger it.
Data centre is a key sector. We live in the information society. Wherever we go, the processing of all kinds of data is continuous. Therefore, the need to protect this data is now being generalised to absolutely all sectors. Furthermore, the rise of Big Data is generating exponential growth in this industry area.
Who uses them? Are they used internally or externally?
Companies, public bodies... In general, pretty much everybody needs to process data in order to develop their activity. The market is practically unlimited in all kinds of sectors.
In general terms, use is 70% external and 30% in-house. Technological growth means that it is increasingly difficult to adapt one’s own facilities, thus the use of large technological parks is essential, with their unlimited growth possibilities and the ease with which they be increased in size modularly.
What are the trends in Data Centres?
They are usually divided into TIER I, II, III and IV. Each one incorporates a greater reliability thanks to its design. For example, the TIER II works with a redundant component system, the TIER III are managed by at least two telecommunications operators and the TIER IV have two electric distribution lines active at the same time.
The tendency is clear: modularity, speed in implantation, scalability and energy savings, which means we can control the initial investment costs as well as reducing operating costs. This system is very much in line with the Alba Park approach, for instance.
What advantages does Catalonia offer as a base for Data Centres?
Catalonia has excellent infrastructures and a highly trained, enthusiastic and competitive labour force. Installations like the Alba Park, beside the Synchrotron, the Autonomous University of Barcelona and very close to Barcelona are at the forefront of Europe.
Furthermore, it is right in the middle of one of Europe’s largest concentration of international companies. The support and vision of the local administration and universities is also key to the speed and flexibility needed for the new installations.