Yandex to build its largest data center in Russia

Yandex to build its largest data center in Russia

Yandex is going to build a new data center in Kaluga. Vacancies for a technical lead, project manager, logistics specialist, and IT professionals are already published.

Yandex to build its largest data center in Russia

The company is starting construction amid a severe shortage of rack space in Russian data centers as well as data center and server equipment supply chain challenges.

New data center

Yandex has already started the construction of a new data processing center in Kaluga, according to representatives of the company. The data center will be located in the Grabtsevo Industrial Park. It will house over 3800 server racks, having a total capacity of 63 MW, which is 1.5 times the capacity of the largest existing Yandex data center. The first zone will be opened in the first half of 2023. 

The Kaluga-based facility is supposed to be used for storing equipment for customers. Yandex explained that the distribution of workload among several data centers will ensure fault tolerance of customers’ applications and reduce the risk of data loss. According to a representative of the company, the data center’s construction involves the use of in-house equipment, including power supply equipment.

Yandex’s HR managers have already posted job vacancies on the company’s website. The new data center is seeking, inter alia, a project manager who will be responsible for the construction in Kaluga.

The company is also seeking a logistics specialist, environmental and occupational safety specialist, facility manager, technical lead, and chief power engineer.

According to the Kontur.Focus register of legal entities, on June 11, 2021, the corporation registered a new organization, Yandex DC Kaluga, indicating activities involving the use of computing technologies and IT as its main type of activity. The company is registered at 57 Boldina Str., Kaluga, Kaluga Oblast.

Nikolay Ivanov was appointed general director of the new data center, which is the same position he holds at the Yandex data centers located in Sasovo, Ryazan Oblast, and Vladimir Oblast. He has been working as a project manager of data center construction at Yandex since 2011.

According to a source, the company has already faced challenges in terms of logistics and data center equipment supply; however, the problems have been sold.

Other Yandex data centers

The first Yandex data center was launched in 2000 at the computing center of the Russian Academy of Science in Moscow. In 2011, the company already had five data centers in Russia. In September of 2011, the corporation announced the launch of the second phase of its data center in Ivanteyevka, Moscow Oblast. In 2012, Yandex initiated the construction of a data center in Sasovo, Ryazan Oblast.

Yandex has reported using in-house computing solutions at the data centers. Components are standard, while the rack design, including motherboard solutions, is completely original. As for the manufacturing, it takes place at contracted plants.

In 2015, the first-phase construction of the Yandex data center located in Mäntsälä, Finland, was completed. In the same year, the company started the construction of a data center in the microdistrict of Energetik in Vladimir Oblast; the second phase was launched in 2019. Electricity prices increasing, it was reported in 2016 that the company was planning to relocate some of the Moscow-based equipment to Vladimir.

According to the company’s annual reports, the total cost of servers and network equipment Yandex owned in 2017 was over 3.5 times the level of 2013, having increased from 9.739 billion rubles to 34.165 billion rubles. The cost of Yandex infrastructure systems, that is, data centers, increased from 3.409 billion rubles in 2013 to 7.621 billion rubles in 2017.

Data centers abroad

On September 22, 2022, it was reported that assets of Yandex were arrested in Finland. Not only does the Russian IT company have a data center in the country of Suomi, but it also provides ride-hailing services under the Yango brand there. Finnish authorities made that decision due to the sanctions imposed against Arkady Volozh, the founder of Yandex.

Earlier, Tigran Khudaverdyan had also been included in the EU sanctions list and had then stepped down as Yandex’s executive director and deputy CEO after the sanctions had been imposed. However, the very company has not yet been included in the list of entities subject to EU sanctions.

In the spring of 2022, RBC reported that Nivos Energia, a Finnish utility company, disconnected the Russian company’s data center located in Finland from power supply, forcing it to switch to diesel generators. The corporation later changed its Finnish subsidiary’s name to Global DC.

In April 2022, Yandex.Cloud, a part of the Yandex corporation, halted its cloud business’ expansion in Germany. Previously, the company was planning to invest around 30 million dollars in the project and start operating at three German locations by the end of 2022.

Data center market situation in Russia

CNews previously reported that the launch of various data centers was being postponed indefinitely amid sanctions. Data center service providers have promised to ensure enough space for over 20,000 new racks in 2022 and 2023, but it is hard to say whether they will keep the promise or not, one of the reasons being that foreign vendors stopped providing Russian data centers with engineering equipment.

In April 2022, data centers located in Moscow faced a severe shortage of rack space; the number of racks they could provide space for dropped to 800. Amid the shortage and equipment challenges facing Russian data centers, the State Duma is planning to adopt a law on data centers, which is supposed to make the receipt of benefits, such as energy and land lease discounts, easier for data center operators.

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