Data Center

DC Darmstadt combines high-quality infrastructure with state-of-the-art technology.
In this robust, scalable, and fail-safe environment, we deliver organizations a truly unique, top-notch data center experience.

A data center like no other

When you think of a data center, you most likely picture a skyscraper building in the middle of busy cities with agglomeration and expensive parking spaces. Although there are a lot of facilities out there that fit this description, our data center is different, way different from what you might have imagined.

The infrastructure within the DC Darmstadt data center is characterized by the excellent premises and possibilities of the former vault building of the Hesse Central Bank. The existing structural protection of our “Fort Knox” style facility was extended by the first-class infrastructure.

The building is armored for bombs and explosions, with specially reinforced areas designed as nuclear and air-raid shelters. The vault is built to withstand the impact of a major damage event such as an aircraft crash or EMP pulse. The four floors of the vault, physically separated from the surrounding building, are above the underground nuclear shelter.

Floor space, protection & operating mechanisms

Different types of floor space can be used for different colocation applications:

  • 8,000 square meters of total floor space in the data center
  • 2,400 square meters of IT space for up to 1,000 racks
  • 2,900 square meters of data center infrastructure space
  • 700 square meters of usable office space for customers
  • 600 sq. m. of vault areas protected against electromagnetic pulses (EMP)


A range of different protection and operating mechanisms:

  • Lightning protection class 1 (rough and fine protection)
  • Nitrogen extinguishing system and OxyReduct system
  • Nuclear shelter for storing tapes and other data media
  • Redundant crossing-free power supply including UPS and emergency power diesel
  • Ventilation and cooling center
  • Over 100 emergency workstations for business continuity
  • Separation of operational and information technology
  • Route guidance for critical supply lines (energy, air conditioning, building control) in fully protected areas
  • Cable routes completely redundant and cross-free in the entire building
  • Leakage detectors within the entire building
  • Alarm protection of all areas via building control technology

Data processing and distribution

Data processing and distribution are of utmost importance in our data center. For this reason, communications can be established through three channels:

  • Fiber-optic network
  • Directional radio
  • Satellite connection

Access routes for delivery and maintenance

  • Direct access for trucks weighing up to 13.2 US tons (12 metric tons), loader lamps and pallet trucks
  • Unloading in a protected and covered area

Location and Environment

  • DC Darmstadt can be reached within 5 minutes from the A5 motorway. The journey from Frankfurt takes 25 minutes.
  • Parking lots for visitors and logistics are sufficiently available. Additionally, a car park is available 100 meters away from the building.
  • There is no risk of groundwater, surface water, lakes, streams, or rivers in Darmstadt.
  • No vulnerable buildings such as nuclear power plants are located in the immediate vicinity.

Data center rooms

  • Shared area
  • Caged area
  • Private rooms of varying sizes with individual security features
  • Storage rooms and pre-installation areas
  • Storage rooms for data carriers of any kind in the nuclear shelter
  • Ceiling rail systems for cable supply
  • The power supply in double floor
  • DC Darmstadt implements necessary work in the double floor infrastructure. For particularly heavy equipment, it is possible to install reinforced floorboards or reinforcement frames.
  • Two redundant carrier areas (separate fire sections), connected to the redundant house connections.
  • Leakage detector inside the double floor

Redundant, fail-safe power supply

The power supply is of crucial importance when operating server cabinets or entire data centers. Power lines are available for power supply, the current of which transforms to 400 volts in the transformer stations and reaches the data center via cable or power rails via the low-voltage main distribution and normal network distribution. Uninterruptible power supply systems (UPS) are also supplied with power via the normal network sub-distribution.

Data centers place the highest demands on availability. Correspondingly, the energy supply at DC Darmstadt is permanently ensured. It is a matter, of course, today that the power supply of the data center itself and all areas in the building where data cables run must be designed as a TN-S system. Permanent self-monitoring of a “clean” TN-S system (e.g., with RCMs) and the connection of the messages to a permanently occupied location is essential for safe operation. For the line protection, all electrical distributions must be equipped with an input fuse. The size and design of the electrical distribution depend on the power to be distributed, the desired number of circuits, and the power per circuit. Typical supply quantities are 16A, single-phase (about 3.5kW), 32A single-phase (about 7kW) or 32A three-phase (22kW) for high-performance cabinets.

Your data is safe in the event of a power failure

  • Redundant supply of installed systems from entry
  • Planned power supply interruptions are prevented by redundant meshed supply and external power supply.
  • N+1 redundant, UPS-assured power supply with battery backup for 25 minutes per side at full load and emergency power diesel on each side
  • Load transfer within 15 seconds
  • Calibrated current meters at outlet boxes to the rack
  • In the event of a power failure, up to three days of autonomy with existing diesel generators and diesel supplies as well as contracts with two suppliers that supply DC Darmstadt within two days
  • Power supply for a rack with 25kW or more is possible (high-performance racks)
  • Power distribution can be produced to match customer requirements (in the final version on both sides n+1, thus 2 (n+1) redundancy

Modern Cooling and Air Conditioning

There are several options to ensure optimal temperatures for energy-efficient data centers that comply with ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers) guidelines. Indirect and direct cooling are two variants that are suitable for this purpose.

The performance density in data centers continues to increase. The energy supply is also increasing at the same time, which is used to cool the IT systems. According to analyses, just over 50 percent of energy consumption is due to the actual IT operation. The rest is used by infrastructure components such as uninterrupted power supply (UPS) and air conditioning. The BITKOM guideline “Energy Efficiency in Data Centers” reports that in a data center with a space of 1,000 square meters about 59 percent of the electricity consumption is attributable to IT components such as servers, network, and storage.

At DC Darmstadt, we place great value on efficiently cooling our customers’ IT systems and at the same time not spending more energy than is absolutely necessary.

Cooling and Air Conditioning in Detail

  • Air conditioning: responsibility for people and the environment
  • Cooling center with redundant design and redundant 7MW cooling capacity
  • Use of modern n+1 redundant air cooling systems
  • Indirect free cooling (Zortström distributor)
  • Separation of cold and hot air (cold aisle containment)
  • Measurement and control of temperature and humidity by means of sensors via central BMS
  • Exclusive use of green electricity
  • Double rubber floor (100% biodegradable)
  • Monitoring of room temperature and relative humidity by sensors
  • Redundant central ventilation system

Structured cross-free cabling

The distribution racks at DC Darmstadt have cable ducts that are completely redundant and cross-free throughout the building. The channel-disjunctive cable ducts run throughout our data center up to the network nodes. The same applies to the course of the network nodes out of the building. In addition, we have ensured a redundant, cross-free, channel-disjunctive course outside of the data center, right up to the various feed-in points for each fiber optics provider.

Bending resistant fiber optic cables

Within the data center, cables are routed either in the double floor or in trays above the racks. We use fiber optic cables that are resistant to bending in order to best utilize space. Such fiber optics can transmit data with almost no loss, even with a bending radius of 15 or even 7.5 mm. A reduced refractive index with a trench structure in its sheath throws the light back into the core region. It is still important to mention that we lay these fibers as stress-free as possible.

Our fire protection concept

Fire protection in our data center is ensured by means of gaseous extinguishing agents that can fight fires without permanent residue. We employ a FirExting® gas extinguishing system from WAGNER.

Our extinguishers have flow regulators that reduce pressure peaks at the beginning of the extinguishing process. The pressure relief for all extinguishing areas at DC Darmstadt is equipped with F90 channel systems, which require only the exposure to open air.

In our hermetically sealed vault, active fire prevention is attained through oxygen reduction. WAGNER’s patented OxyReduct® system generates nitrogen from the ambient air and subsequently introduces it into the protection area via the ventilation system.

Fire Extinguishing Systems and Fire Protection at a Glance

  • Nitrogen extinguishing system
  • Oxygen reduction system in vault spaces
  • Flue gas suction system (RAS)
  • Use of a continuous fire protection concept (dual detector dependency)
  • Early detection of fire by means of fire detectors (VESDA) on the ceilings and in the cold aisle containments
  • Fire detection system with activation of the automatic fire extinguishing system and alerting of professional fire department

The dangers of Lightning Surges

The most dangerous voltage peaks in the low-voltage consumer network arise from lightning surges. Lightning surges reach 100 times normal voltage and transport high energy. Data and IT infrastructures are especially vulnerable to such events.

Customers' data safety

To protect our customers’ data and equipment, we operate a Class 1 lightning protection system at our Darmstadt Data Center. This corresponds to the most critical surge protection grade to which military bases and nuclear power plants are typically assigned.

Energy-Efficient Data Center

With its high power usage effectiveness (PUE), DC Darmstadt is one of the most environmentally friendly data centers in Europe.

Our DC has been designed from the outset to be high energy efficient thanks to the optimal combination of mechanical, mixed-operation, and purely indirect outdoor cooling, including Zortström distributors. Moreover, DC Darmstadt is one of the most environmentally friendly data centers in Europe with its high-security concept, high infrastructure redundancy (TÜV Rheinland category 3+), and its strong PUE grade.

The entire infrastructure is integrated into an overall ecological concept with regard to the efficiency of the individual components and the energy-efficient regulation of the entire system.

Green IT at a glance

  • Use of modern n+1 redundant air-cooling systems
  • Indirect free cooling (Zortström distributor)
  • Separation of cold and hot air (cold aisle containment)
  • Exclusive use of green electricity
  • Double floor made of rubber (100% degradable)

All our processes and offers are aligned to the target parameters of environmental compatibility and energy saving. We are continuously working to optimize DC Darmstadt processes, systems, and software control even further.

Would you like to learn more or pay us a visit? Schedule a data center tour. We'd love to show you around.

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