Finland is becoming an increasingly attractive location for advanced connections. Learn what makes the northern country an ideal hub for data centers.
Cloud-based services play a key role in supporting our increasingly digital society. In the European data center business development has traditionally been focused in the FLAP market—Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam, and Paris. However, the Nordic countries, including Finland, are becoming increasingly attractive locations for advanced connections and data centers. Large and small international Cloud and DC service providers are setting up data centers in Finland, for example.
Why is this the case? In this article, we’ll outline the reasons why Finland is becoming a hub for international connections, and why more enterprises are strengthening their operational presence in Finland, including DC investments, to develop their own international service offering.
The Nordics connect Europe & Asia
“The world is more connected than ever. Not just within the EU, but also between Europe and other continents. For instance, there is clearly an increasing interest and need for direct connections between Europe and Asia,” explains Eeva Liljanto, Director of Global Connectivity at Cinia.
Connecting these continents through the northern hemisphere improves cable network connections not only in Finland and other Nordic countries, but in Europe overall, making Finland more attractive as a data center location.
C-Lion1 is the only north-south submarine cable over the Baltic Sea connecting Finland to Europe and is successfully serving customers all over Europe with the most direct route providing the lowest latency. C-Lion1 combined to diverse routing options through Sweden and a domestic backbone network in Finland supports many options for data center locations in Finland.
Cinia and its partners Far North Digital (Alaska) and ARTERIA Networks Corporation (Japan) formed Far North Fiber, Inc., a joint cooperation to develop a submarine fiber optic system connecting Asia and Europe through the Arctic. Far North Fiber estimates that the nearly 17,000 km system will be ready for service by the end of 2026. This system will complement and secure existing connections, and greatly reduce the optical distance between Asia and Europe, thus minimizing signal latency. Besides Finland/Norway landing, a branch to connect Iceland is also in the plans.
This Far North Fiber project will also create new innovations using the direct connectivity between Europe and Asia in a wide range of fields, including industry, academia, and finance.
Finland is seen as an especially attractive location for data centers due to its favorable climate, and stable and solid environment.
“Data centers are long-term investments, so the environment must allow for sustainable growth. It needs to be predictable to manage operations for the long-term,” says Eeva.
Factors that increase Finland’s stability as a data center location include:
- Cool climate and solid bedrock
- One of the world’s best digital infrastructures—Finland ranks among the top five countries in the 2022 Network Readiness Index by the Portulans Institute.
- Reliable power grid
- Steady economy and favorable policies
- Skilled workforce available for development, construction, and operations
- Data security—Finland follows European data protection legislation and supports the needs of cross-border service platforms.
Green energy solutions
Green energy solutions are increasingly important for data center operators, and this is another area that makes Finland a top data center location. Finland promotes sustainable development, and due to the country’s cold climate, free cooling is available in the data centers all year round.
Finland also has advanced solutions for reusing heat released from data centers in communities and cities. The waste heat produced in the data centers is converted to district heating, serving the close by cities and neighboring municipalities. This will help the cities achieve their emission targets.
“Lumi” is a Finnish word meaning snow, and LUMI is one of the greenest supercomputers in the world, located in the city of Kajaani in Finland. LUMI uses 100% carbon-free hydroelectric energy and its waste heat is reused to heat up the houses in Kajaani.
Finland has some of the most cost-efficient electricity in Europe, which is important for data centers to survive in the international competition.
Even as electricity prices are now increasing, Finland still has a competitive electricity price compared to other countries in Europe.
Furthermore, Finland is committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2035 and the Finnish energy industry has launched a Low-carbon roadmap to support this target. Even today 85% of the Finnish electricity is CO2-neutral.
The lower cost of energy was one of the most important reasons why Hetzner Online GmbH—a German provider of web hosting services and a data center operator—chose Finland for its data center location.
After operating five years in Finland, the company spokesman Christian Fitz from Hetzner, states that customers are clearly benefiting lower costs by paying reduced monthly prices: “Low prices are cost savings that we pass directly onto our customers; they come from the reduced energy prices that we pay in Finland compared to Germany, and also come from the colder climate and lower cooling requirements,”
Connect your business to digital ecosystems with Cinia
With strong connections to the most important data hubs, Cinia significantly expands the international connections of data centers that choose Finland as their location. New data centers being built across the country drive employment, innovation, and growth in Finland.
Cinia network through C-Lion1 subsea cable provides direct, high-capacity connection from Finland to Northern Europe with the lowest possible latency. In addition to connection services, we also offer advanced cybersecurity and software solutions.