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Host Europe Group (HEG) has officially opened the first phase of its renewed DC5 facility in Leeds, constructed as part of a "state-of-the-art" refit.

The £4.2m upgrade was officially launched by HEG’s chairman and former director-general of the BBC Lord Birt.

DC5 has the ability for free air cooling dependent on temperatures in Leeds.

The air temp can be 25 to 27°C with a dry bulb temperature that can reach a maximum 21. Once it reaches that temperature HEG said it will have to pay for cooling.

According to a report by The Green Grid 97% of Europe can use free cooling all year long.

HEG's water cooling tower

DC5 currently has 4,000 servers and will have close to 10,000 at a rate of 10Gbps.

Each cabinet has 5kW of power which the company aims to increase to 8kW in its next phase.

HEG’s group managing director Matthew Mansell said the company has already had its future expansion approved.

“In our next phase we’re looking at further increasing the number of servers to 15,000,” Mansell said.

DC5 rack cabinets and servers

DC5 has a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of 1.27 which was previously 3.0 before the refit.

HEG said it aims to further improve the PUE measurement in its final phase.

“You see the Google’s the Facebook’s building out data centers and they may be nearer 1.1 but they’re doing that without the level of redundancy we have here. And they use hardware they’ve manufactured themselves so not with manufacturer’s kit like we have to provision that our customers expect us to be using,” Mansell said.

“Our Leeds data center is one of the most innovative and efficient facilities in Europe."

The DC5 facility will be the primary facility for HEG’s DNS infrastructure.

“Just yesterday alone we passed through 70m website hits and over 30m emails were sent through our servers here. We also stopped 130,000 viruses from being sent to various inboxes,” Mansell said.

"Being as energy efficient as we can because it's quite obvious in being energy efficient not only are we looking after and caring after the community that we live but we're also not spending money on electricity, so we are hoping that extra investment will pay off for everybody."