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AKQUINET: Building on a History of Inclusion to Create a More Sustainable Tomorrow
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By Ken Phillips
“Humanity needs to approach business in a sustainable manner in order to successfully ensure the future of our planet. In our increasingly technology-enabled societies, using renewable energy sources for data center operation is a significant part of the game. Zero Carbon Committed fosters broad visibility and furthers our efforts to continually progress. Sustainability pays off for everyone.” — Jens Ehlers, managing director, AKQUINET
AKQUINET, a fast-growing IT services and solutions company based in Hamburg, Germany, has earned a reputation for innovation as well as for service to the communities its employees call home.
In 2004, AKQUINET built the first German data center together with Evangelische Stiftung Alsterdorf, a charitable group that for more than 150 years has provided assistance with food, shelter, and healthcare to those in need, as well as education programs and schools. Affiliated with the Protestant Church, the organization helps those of all religious affiliations and has programs in place for those with disabilities, children without families, and seniors. Some 40% of the employees at the four data centers, operated by AKQUINET, are people with disabilities.
“Our greatest strength as a company is the integrity, talent, and professional expertise of AKQUINET’s employees,” says Jens Ehlers, the company’s managing director. “AKQUINET is built on a strong commitment not only to do what is right, but to do business right. That, of course, aligns completely with the premise of VMware’s Zero Carbon Committed and our shared effort to reduce emissions, address climate change, and minimize our collective reliance on fossil fuels. We must do this because it is right for our planet and people across the globe.”
Responsibility for the environment
Sustainability is not a new endeavor at AKQUINET. In 2011, it built its data center in Hamburg-Alsterdorf so that waste heat was transferred via heat pumps to the gym of the Bugenhagen School, which is operated by Evangelische Stiftung Alsterdorf. Today, the company is actively working to further optimize the heat return by directing it throughout the campus grounds. In June of this year, the Hamburg site of AKQUINET’s Twin Data Center was awarded “Blue Angel” status by Germany’s Federal Environmental Agency, making it the first “climate-friendly co-location data center” in the country. What’s more, all of AKQUINET’s data centers run on electricity generated with renewable energy sources.
“We are aware of the responsibility we bear for the environment and thus for our society,” adds Ehlers. “Data centers already consume enormous amounts of energy. We are working every day with great commitment, knowledge, and experience to continuously improve sustainability, and we pursue all avenues to work in a climate-friendly manner. This includes supporting the sustainability efforts of our customers – most of whom are mid-sized organizations – and providing them with inspiration.”
Perhaps most importantly, the company sees its services as also contributing to efforts to reduce emissions. This includes the AKQUINET CLOUD, a highly flexible, customized private cloud that includes advanced data protection, Kubernetes-as-a-Service, and an object storage solution, among other offerings.
Customers can manage their virtual data centers with a self-service portal and gain access to more than 360 service providers as well as public clouds, including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud, and others through the Megaport platform. In this way, they can also access the cloud from any location and transfer data between global sites – all on a secure path that bypasses the risks and performance fluctuations of the public Internet.
“The biggest opportunities for cloud technologies to support sustainability efforts lie in the efficiency benefits that come from sharing data center resources, as well as the abilities that technology applications give us to do business in a smarter and more planet-friendly manner,” says Ehlers. “Sustainability pays off for everyone.”
Learn more about AKQUINET and its partnership with VMware here.