Russia’s national telecommunications operator Rostelecom has officially launched its new data center.

The 2MW facility is located in the city of Yekaterinburg in central Russia and was outfitted in April with 216 racks. The building will be upgraded with a further 216 racks in 2020, bringing the total up to 432 racks.

Rostelecom’s new data center lies within the Ural federal district; the company also owns several sites in the nearby cities of Tymen, Chelyabinsk, Novy Urengoy, Yugorsk, Surgut, and Kurgan.

Pavel Kaplunov, VP for cloud services at Rostelecom, said: “Historically, over 85 percent of overall data center capacity has been concentrated in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

“Our strategy to develop a geographically diversified network of data centers will eliminate digital inequality across Russia, ensuring a high level of digital infrastructure for corporate and state clients.

“We are already seeing an increasing demand for reliable and competitive data centers and cloud solutions from potential clients at the beginning of construction, and will be installing the customers’ equipment shortly after the commercial launch.”

Digital motherland

The Russian government has a digitalization plan called the Russian Digital Economy Program.

As a national telco, Rostelecom is supporting the project and building data centers in specific regions as per its role outlined in the document. This latest facility in Yekaterinburg is one of these so-called “Core Regional Data Centres.” The idea is to develop a “geographically diversified nationwide network” of data centers by 2024.

Data Center Plus Nuclear
Rostelecom's Udomlya data center – Rostelecom

Nuclear center

Also as part of the Digital Economy Program, Rostelecom opened a data center next to the Kalininskaya Nuclear Power Plant back in August.

The Udomlya data center is set on the grounds of the power plant and is a joint project between the telco and state-owned nuclear energy company Rosenergoatom. Kaplunov called it the company's most ambitious project in its strategy to follow the Russian Digital Economy Program.

He said: "The partnership with Rosenergoatom has enabled us to create a unique facility in terms of security, scale, electricity tariffs. The demand for cloud services is growing rapidly. Rostelecom’s revenue from data center services is increasing by 30 percent year-on-year.

"Russia's largest data center will enable us to meet the growing demand from state and corporate customers while offering attractive market rates. Our fully-fledged cloud service allows clients to use computing infrastructure on-site, to provide customers with ready-made solutions and guaranteed quality.”

For more on Russia's data sovereignty plans, and its controversial 'Internet isolation bill,' be sure to read the latest issue of DCD Magazine. Subscribe for free today.