Telefónica opens its largest data centre to house advanced digital services



  • Telefónica has already invested 120 million euros in the project, and plans to invest a total of more than 300 million euros in all its phases to house the digital and technological infrastructures of the future.
  • The Centre comprises a total of 23 Information Technology (IT) rooms, a built area of 65,700 m2, on a plot of land the size of 8 football pitches. The image gallery can be found here.
  • Alcalá Data Centre will cover the whole range of ICT services, from housing, infrastructures and cloud computing to full customer outsourcing.
  • It will also operate as Telefónica’s cloud services base for Europe and will house platforms for customers in Spain, the United Kingdom, Germany and the Czech Republic.
  • The new Data Centre’s capacities guarantee 99.995% annual reliability; it is also the largest Centre in the world with Tier IV certification from the Uptime Institute, which guarantees the highest level of fault tolerance.

30 April 2013, Madrid: Today, Telefónica launched the first phase of its ‘Alcalá Data Centre’ project, in which it has so far invested more than 120 million euros, with plans to invest a total of 300 million euros over the coming years. The new Data Centre will be a world benchmark from the outset, and its aim will be to lead Telefónica’s transformation into one of the leading companies in the new digital world environment.

Telefónica’s Chairman, César Alierta, explained the capacities and the features of the Data Centre, located in the town of Alcalá de Henares, near Madrid, during an opening ceremony (see photos here) attended by Ignacio González, the President of the Madrid Region; Víctor Calvo Sotelo, Secretary of State for Telecommunications and the Information Society; Carmen Vela, Secretary of State for Research, Development and Innovation; and the Mayor of Alcalá de Henares, Javier Bello.

Accompanied by José María Álvarez Pallete, CEO of Telefónica, and Guillermo Ansaldo, General Manager of Telefónica Global Resources, they visited the new centre’s installations, which consist of 23 Information Technology (IT) rooms and a built area of 65,700 m2, on a plot of land the size of 8 football pitches.

The start-up of this project is part of Telefónica’s aim to turn Spain into a country with the facilities to house tomorrow’s digital technology infrastructures and make this new Data Centre a point of reference for companies and institutions all over the world.

The design of the Alcalá Data Centre is a modular configuration, with a redundant energy supply and communications, also capable of guaranteeing the highest levels of flexibility, reliability, safety and efficiency. Built by Ferrovial and Master Ingeniería, with technological advice provided by Digital Realty, it will cover the whole range of ICT services, from housing, infrastructures and cloud computing to full outsourcing of customer applications. It will also operate as Telefónica’s cloud services base for Europe and will house platforms for customers in Spain, the United Kingdom, Germany and the Czech Republic.

First phase

Today was the launch of the first of its five phases, now operational, located in a building measuring 24,700 m2, with seven IT rooms covering an area of 682 m2 each. The complete project, which will progress gradually, will cover a total area of 65,700 m2 and include a further 16 IT rooms, on a 78,400 m2 plot. Each module will be independent, allowing new rooms to be activated without affecting the operation of the rest. Similarly, the 1,200 kW of IT power for each room can be multiplied up to fourfold without impacting the housed systems.

This configuration will allow customers to continue to evolve technologically without expensive investment or having to worry about the power limitations or the increasing concentration of servers. The rooms will also house areas of high density by using cold and hot corridor contention, designed for high computing areas and cloud computing.

These capacities guarantee an annual reliability of 99.995%. The design has Tier IV certification from the Uptime Institute, which guarantees the highest level of fault tolerance. The fact that they are interconnected by a redundant fibre optic ring with the Julián Camarillo Data Centre (Madrid) will allow them to be used as mutual back-up centres in case of faults, another added strength for reliability and security in the management of critical services.

At its new Data Centre, Telefónica will provide the latest in Outsourcing services for Infrastructures, housing, backup, storage, monitoring, complete outsourcing of systems, IT contingency services, etc. Special emphasis will also be placed on the new Cloud services, offering customers the Virtual Data Centre service, a flexible and made-to-measure facility, giving a company a private space in the securest environment to install all the business applications it needs: e-mail, intranet, corporate website, CRM, management tools, e-Commerce, etc.

Meanwhile, this great project is Telefónica’s response to the challenge of implementing an innovative centre with the maximum capacity to house the digital services of the future. Telefónica has already established the bases for consolidating its leadership in the new digital environment, where it intends to operate the following businesses worldwide: video and entertainment, e-advertising, e-health, financial services, Cloud Computing and M2M (machine to machine connections), to name just a few.

Current exponential growth in traffic between applications and devices demands more advanced data centres with a processing capacity of at least the equivalent, and which minimise energy losses. The company is meeting this challenge with this new centre, which is able to cover the demand for ICT services from the web and which joins its existing five Managed Data Centres in Spain and those recently opened in Brazil, Miami and Mexico.

Green IT Criteria

The project incorporates the excellence requirements of the most stringent international standards in its category. On the one hand, the international Green IT principles of eco-efficiency and sustainability, which includes the most up-to-date electrical and air-conditioning infrastructures to reduce energy consumption by approximately 75%. And in terms of design, construction and operation, the necessary score was obtained to be awarded the Green Building Council’s Leed Silver certification.

In addition, Alcalá Data Centre has been designed to meet all the requirements of the different management and safety quality certifications thanks to, amongst other measures, its round-the-clock closed circuit television and video surveillance system, with cameras installed on both the perimeter and in the IT rooms and internal corridors. In some restricted access areas, access will be controlled with proximity card readers and digital fingerprint readers.

This project was co-financed by the Ministry of the Economy and Competitiveness as part of the National Plan for Scientific Research, Development and Technological Innovation 2008-2011 and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) with numbers INP-2011-0001-PCT-430000-ACT4 and ACT5, with loans of €19,203,598 and €4,750,512 respectively.