How to find the most trustful data center in the Netherlands

Every data center in the Netherlands claims they will be your best fit and will perform better than their competitors. But what about their proven trust?

For more than 10 years the Netherlands is the best places for European colocation presence. Therefore the country is full of data centers providing all kind of colocation, connectivity and compute services. As there are a lot of data centers in the Netherlands to choose from. It’s difficult to see which one will fit your infrastructure needs on long term, especially because only the technical data center specs and uptime are not only good enough anymore. That’s why I wrote this article today, to give you some key differences between to top Dutch data centers in the Amsterdam region. I hope it will add some thoughts to make a better decision finding a trustful data center in the Netherlands.

Data center selection

In this article, I described known data centers companies that are:

  1. In the same high-end quality level.
  2. It should be their core business
  3. They have multiple physical locations
  4. The data center will have at least 10MW power capacity
  5. They have at least 25 (FTE) employees
  6. The total amount international clients hosted in Dutch ground should be at least 100. 

Yes, there are way more data centers out there, but they will probably never be in any colo search selection. The data centers main target audience is international clients who need European colocation presence. From a single rack up to private cooling alleys of racks.

Not good or bad

I think we all agree that none of the mentioned data centers on this page are really bad. So which one you will choose, it always will be good because you can assume that all of them have their perfect power, cooling, generators, support, etc. Their connectivity and carriers will enable you to create your own infrastructure, their on-site support staff will help you with the basics and you can visit the data center whenever you want. Its like buying a new car. All modern cars from known brands will drive safely, they can all hit the 150kmh speed, etc. etc… Therefore this article and its data center comparison table will focus on the non-technical differences of data centers.

But besides all these data center commodity services, allot of other things will be even more important these days. 2020 is starting the age of trust full of new regulations, where proven “trust” between the client and its supplier is more important than ever.

Colocation in the Netherlands, Amsterdam, or else?

What’s the difference between an Amsterdam data center and a data center in the Netherlands? Well, subjective allot but technically not much. Let me explain, because of its one of the main misconceptions by foreign people. The Netherlands is one of the smallest countries in Europe. Many people outside Europe don’t even know where the Netherlands is located. And even if they do, they have a wrong view in mind because of all worldwide Dutch tourist campaigns where mainly tulips, wind males and the old city of Amsterdam is promoted.

In the ’80s, when the first European data center was build in Amsterdam, many followed because the Dutch government was running the city with an open mentality where international money was welcomed to invest. The main success factor for growth was – and still is – is connectivity, which in part has been aided by macro factors such as location, language, and government regulation.

The interconnection between data center within Amsterdam expanded to other cities, data bridges were build to London, Paris, and Frankfurt, and round 2010 all medium and small cities in the Netherlands where interconnected by many fiber suppliers. There was no difference anymore between any medium-size city because the average fiber length between data centers was always under 100KM. Small data center companies started and become large players on the market. In 2017 the large consolidation started. Cheap investment money bought almost any independent data center. Until this year this train is still moving…

Better than Amsterdam

Another change that is seen is that today, the best connectivity is not available in Amsterdam anymore. Google, Microsoft and smaller ones like Serverius itself are offering better connectivity compared to data centers within the old city-ring of Amsterdam. Simply because they are connected to multiple cities like Amsterdam. Also because not all data-traffic is passing Amsterdam anymore, data-traffic to Frankfurt will flow directly to Germany without the intervention of Germany. And the volume limits of the past are really gone. Looking at our own company, for example, we are the first in the Netherlands who is using 600Gbps per single DWDM wave. No Amsterdam carrier was able to do the same in 2020. Therefore our IP network is still in the top 3 Dutch IP networks and here to stay.

The 100% Dutch obligation, why?!

Due to the many acquisitions in recent years, Dutch data centers are mostly owned by mainly American companies. Some open with their name on it, others hiding by financial structures.

ICT specialists and governmental bodies sent warnings that the US may gain access to more and more Dutch data. I will not start the “right or wrong” discussion here, but it may be clear that in 2020 more and more colocation users are driven by their customers to choose wisely and therefore opt for the precarious and a 100% Dutch data center. So even though a data center cannot access the customer’s data, people are increasingly concerned that foreign identities, in addition to Dutch law, also conform to the law of the country of origin (like the Cloud Act which dictates that American tech companies (‘they don’t even have to have their headquarters there’) must hand over data from servers to US government agencies, even if they are outside the United States). This with all (interception) consequences.

Everyone will understand that the differences between America and a European country such as the Netherlands are large. But don’t forget that even the German law is acting surprisingly because of all its (trade/justice) treaties with the USA. Are we holy in the Netherlands? Nope, but there is certainly a difference where Dutch law gives greater confidence than many other countries.

So 100% Dutch in heart and soul: The data center itself, the owner, the financier, the directors. They must all be included in the assessment to explain to al data stakeholders how their data is treated.

Lets see some facts, some numbers to compare. Like said before, I added not much technical specs because there are many websites which can offer you better overviews of this. For example, the Dutch Data center Association is one of them where you can find most technical specification (keep in mind its subjective inf