Vodafone Netherlands chooses Interconnect and Minkels data centre infrastructure

After a negative experience with a large outage in one of its data centres, Vodafone wanted to create more resilience in its telecom infrastructure. Therefore, Vodafone recently launched its SuperSwitch programme. The rollout is currently underway. The existing data centre infrastructure in the Netherlands that was built years ago at a time that the telecomsmarket was experiencing rapid growth, must now make way for a fully redundant data centre infrastructure with only three data centres - that can take over fully eachother’s role in cases of outages or disasters.

Environmental goals and maximum energy efficiency are also important to Vodafone, which results in reduced energy usage, thus lower operating costs. They are also important for the company’s strategic environmental goals to reduce its carbon footprint and to be a good corporate citizen. Interconnect exceeds these expectations with its highly energy-efficient Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of 1.15. The Minkels airflow optimised racks and the Minkels Next Generation Cold Corridors® that efficiently separate hot and cold airflows are key contributors to this energy-efficient PUE value.


The phased construction is expected to be completed by 2017. Vodafone’s complete telecom infrastructure will then be housed in the Interconnect data centre in Eindhoven and in two of its own data centres in Arnhem and another location. The Interconnect co-location data centre is the first Vodafone location in the SuperSwitch programme to be completed. In September 2014 Interconnect and Minkels have delivered two high security and highly redundant data centre rooms (2N+1) of 300 square metres each to Vodafone.

Minkels has installed a total of eight Next Generation Cold Corridors® in the two data centre rooms. Moreover, Minkels has placed many 19 inch racks and designed custom racks for Vodafone – including centralised network cabinets that have been optimised by Minkels for a specific, innovative cabling system. The cables in this smart patching system have built-in sensors for self-management. Minkels has also supplied Power Distribution Units (PDUs) and cable management accessories for Vodafone’s infrastructure.

“The Interconnect data centre and our own two data centres give us a good mix of initial investments and operating costs,” says Jurgen Keulen, Program Manager at Vodafone The Netherlands. “Vodafone is extremely averse to risk, therefore, we are very critical of our suppliers. We stand for quality and expect the same of them as well. All elements of the infrastructure in the data centre must be of excellent quality,including the racks. It is also very comforting to know that Interconnect and Minkels provide us service as a single team and that they are very flexible when it comes to meeting all our unique needs. We have received a lot of custom work, which we can then purchase as a service from Interconnect. We get all that for a fair price and that is truly superb.”


“Minkels leads the market in data centre innovation,” says Rob Stevens, director and co-owner of Interconnect. “Minkels shares ideas with us and is capable of supplying the best components for Vodafone. At Interconnect, we prefer not to use a different rack supplier, as this could result in unnecessary complications and with Minkels we are certain that we can deliver the quality we wish to offer.”

The modularity of the Minkels Next Generation Cold Corridors® has been implemented right down to the details. This means for instance that Vodafone can opt to have racks with recesses made in the Cold Corridors, in order to be able to house future systems of unknown sizes. Keulen: “This illustrates how future-proof this data centre infrastructure is. The modular design of the Minkels systems ensures that we can work with this infrastructure for at least 15 years.” Now that the first of the three data centres is ready for use, this coming year the existing Vodafone data centre in Arnhem will be rebuilt. At the same time, the design of the third data centre that is still to be built will commence. The Interconnect and Minkels infrastructure in Eindhoven will serve as the blueprint.