Former AMS-IX executives start up micro data centre project

14 September 2018 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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Two former senior executives of Amsterdam’s AMS-IX internet exchange have started a company to supply micro data centres to run on the edge of networks.

The company, EdgeInfra, plans to run proofs of concepts in the Netherlands and Germany and is already working with potential customers.

“The perfect location would be under a tower, where fibre is available,” said Cara Mascini, the CEO and co-founder of the company with Job Witteman.

The aim is to host content locally, reducing the need to move content along core networks and cutting latency.

The current concept is to put the micro data centres in a shipping container, which would contain six racks of equipment as well as cooling and security. It would consume 48kW, said Mascini.

“There are already several of these business models in the US and we want to know whether it would be viable in Europe as well.”

EdgeInfra is talking to mobile network operators as well as content companies, cloud providers and tower companies, she said. “I cannot disclose any names.”

The founders are looking for seed capital of €2 million and are hoping to start deployment in the second half of 2019.

Utrecht-based Mascini was chief marketing officer and chief strategy officer of AMS-IX for more than 10 years until early 2014. Amsterdam-based Witteman was CEO for 17 years until October 2017. Mascini moved on to cable operator Ziggo, now VodafoneZiggo, and then to Eurofiber, where she headed marketing, product and solutions until early this year.

“We’ve done this before [started up businesses] at a macro scale,” Mascini told Capacity, speaking at this week’s Metro Connect Europe event in Amsterdam. “Now we’re going to do it at a local scale in the industry where we’re known.”

She believes edge data centres will be needed “to keep local traffic local”, with locally based computing and other services. “The industry will need the micro data centre architecture in the future.”