Mining for Data? Lefdal Mine Becomes Container-Based Data Center

May 18, 2018 // By William Wong
Norway’s Lefdal mine once was a source for minerals, but now it’s a data center. Created jointly by IBM, Rittal, and Lefdal, the mine could house up to 1,500 containers.

When we talk about a container-based data center in Norway’s Lefdal mine, we’re not talking about programming containers or virtual machines. No, we’re talking about 40-ft. Container Data Centers from Rittal that are filling the void left in the Lefdal mine. It was the largest olivine mine in the world, but it’s no longer active, at least as a mine.


The Lefdal Mine Datacenter (LMD) is a project that IBM,
Rittal, and Lefdal have built within the Lefdal mine in Norway.

The Lefdal Mine Datacenter (LMD) is a 120,000-m² site in Måløy on the Norwegian West Coast. Initially, it was set up for 300 containers and up to 45 MW of cooling output. The overall system may have up to 1,500 containers with a cooling output of up to 200 MW. IBM, Rittal, and Lefdal are partners in the project designed to provide an efficient, secure, cloud environment that’s extensible by adding more container-based compute, storage, and cooling systems.


Rittal’s RiMatrix S Standard Container is designed
to be a data center in a box—a big box.

LMD only uses renewable energy sources; it’s cooled by water from a nearby fjord. This approach reduces energy costs in addition to providing cost savings of up to 40% compared to a conventional cloud data center. The low-energy costs allow the overall system to achieve a PUE (power usage effectiveness) below 1.15.

Its makeup makes it a secure location as well as providing a cool and dry place for containers like Rittal’s RiMatrix S Standard Container.


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