The History of Greenhouse Datacenters

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Greenhouse Datacenters - How It All Started

The Westland area in the Netherlands where Greenhouse Datacenters is located is mainly an agricultural area. Well-known for its many greenhouses and innovative glasshouse horticulture. Where horticulturists and farmers grow fresh flowers, plants and vegetables on a large scale and export them to markets worldwide. Just a stone’s throw away from the cities of Rotterdam and The Hague. A fast-growing provider of carrier-neutral data center services? You wouldn’t expect it here.

What was once a dream in the minds of its founders is a reality here and now. Greenhouse Datacenters’ two independently certified colocation data centers are located in the Westland area - in Naaldwijk, the Netherlands. It offers Enterprises and SMB customers worldwide the certainty that they can safely house their IT infrastructures on Dutch soil with low latency access to the world.

Indeed, we said fast-growing. After all, the construction plans for a third data center are already in place. Want to know more about the story behind Greenhouse’s market success as a colocation provider?

Entrepreneurial ‘Westland’ Mentality

We were officially founded in 2013, but the foundation of Greenhouse Datacenters was actually laid in 2006. When a few friends from the Westland registered with the brand name ‘WorldStream’ at the Chamber of Commerce. Boys of barely 18 years old with a lot of technical knowledge and skills. And with a typical ‘Westland’ entrepreneurial mentality, as people in the Westland area are known for their ‘can-do’ and business-oriented spirit. Initially they started deploying a few servers for customers in colocation data centers located in Amsterdam. Later on, they moved their servers to data centers a bit closer to home in the Netherlands, in the Rotterdam and The Hague region.

 

 

In the early years of Worldstream, the founders themselves spent many hours with their laptops between the server racks. Often until late into the night. From Amsterdam to Rotterdam and The Hague however, they did not very much like the quality of the data centers. Neither did they like the prices they had to pay for the colocation services. It contrasted sharply with the value for money they intended to offer their customers, which is also typically ‘Westland.’ With the knowledge and experience they gained as data center clients, they finally found out. Data center development? They’d better do it themselves.

First Data Centers

The first data center they developed, based on their insights and vision as a data center user, was located in Maasdijk. This village is located 6 kilometers from current HQs and data center location. They purchased the building. Minkels, part of conglomerate Legrand, took care of the facility setup. This data center provided space for more than 100 server racks, but soon the capacity in the building had to be doubled. And, a second building in Maasdijk was rented and converted into another data center. From all over the world, there was a great deal of interest in the server and network solutions with an excellent price/quality ratio.

 
 

In the beginning, the focus of our data center development was mainly on the technology. Gradually the awareness grew that really every fine detail had to be perfect. From strict data center access security to organizational procedures and power growth guarantees. And from a wide range of available telecom carriers to certifications by independent and accredited auditors. It’s especially important when you want to serve large customers and/or users with mission-critical IT infrastructures. We also noticed that we had become very experienced in developing and operating colocation data centers, allowing us to offer it as an independent service.

The Name, Greenhouse

In 2013, Greenhouse Datacenters as an autonomous carrier-neutral colocation provider finally took shape. It started with the purchase and renovation of a large building on the Industriestraat in Naaldwijk, our current location.

The name Greenhouse was a logical choice for us. From the beginning we have always paid a lot of attention to energy efficiency details and therefore the cost efficiency of our data centers. After its renovation, the IT infrastructures of all customers were migrated to this new and large data center, while the smaller facilities were phased out. We still manage this data center, which is called Greenhouse DC1.

Greenhouse DC1, DC2, … DC3

At the end of 2018, it was followed by the opening of our current flagship data center, Greenhouse DC2. A greenfield development. It is actually the facility we’re most proud of - a state-of-the-art data center with biometric access security. But above all, it’s a highly energy-efficient data center, with a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) value being achieved of 1.2.

Just like DC1, Greenhouse DC2 is located on the Industriestraat in Naaldwijk, the Netherlands. It was built by the Naaldwijk-based construction company Zwarts. Several well-known manufacturers contributed to the security and energy efficiency of the data center, - among other things, including global vendor Eaton.

At the moment, Greenhouse DC2 still offers plenty of room for further growth for our colocation customers, but Greenhouse’s market success story does not end here. In anticipation of growing customer demand, we have already purchased a plot of land at the same location to build a third data center. Its name is not yet known, but DC3 might be a logical choice.

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