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Iceland: the New Cheap Energy Hub

Eirkur Hrafnsson is CEO and founder of Reykjavik, Iceland-based GreenQloud, a public cloud provider that uses only inexpensive hydro and thermal powered energy, and wants to clean up the environment while helping its customers save money. Toward that end, he claims GreenQloud--which has yet to officially launch--will provide such green aids as automatically telling customers of how much energy they are using in both their physical and virtual infrastructures.

Hrafnsson likes virtualization, and lauds the efficiencies it has produced in data centers, but in his opinion, "Virtualization helps reduce IT emissions, but with the incredible growth of the Internet and cloud computing, better efficiencies aren't going to cut it."

GreenQloud employs the KVM hypervisor in its green quest because Hrafnsson says it is best-suited for the environments he envisages and does not require the special kernels or modified images integral to Xen- or Amazon-based virtualization schemes. In order to rescue Amazon customers who are looking for an alternative, he offers cloned Amazon APIs that provide them with a convenient migration path to GreenQloud.

Hrafnsson is counting on Iceland's location as a midpoint between North America and Europe to give it a competitive advantage. "Iceland is becoming a network hub," he says, adding that the country's convenient location enables U.S. and European web services providers who previously had to pay international service charges on both continents to now pay only one.

In preparation for its scheduled beta test period in December, GreenQloud is currently working with carriers to finalize its Tier one network, which it hopes will meet SLAs and provide low latency when it debuts in conjunction with the beta environment.

Hrafnsson has encountered plenty of skepticism from doubters who view his company as just another green gimmick, but he says, "It's not really a hard sell, and the interest we're getting is much more than we expected."

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 08/18/2010 at 12:48 PM


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