• Rüsselsheim receives City Cloud

Rüsselsheim, 21 March 2013 – Stadtwerke Rüsselsheim, e-shelter, IT service provider NCT and IBM Deutschland cooperate on project.

"Rüsselsheim is to be one of the first cities in Germany to receive a City Cloud later this year", announced Mayor Patrick Burghardt. This will allow companies to use their data traffic, computing power, data security and even the complete mapping of business processes as IT services from the 'Cloud'. The optical fibre infrastructure implemented by the public utilities company, Stadtwerke Rüsselsheim, in Rüsselsheim forms the core of the City Cloud.

"Several positive factors come together in Rüsselsheim," stated Secretary of State Horst Westerfeld, Hessian Ministry of Finance. Rüsselsheim is not only among the Hessian cities driving forward the installation of high-speed optical fibre; it is also home to one of Europe's largest data centre operators, along with a cloud specialist from neighbouring Trebur. "The cooperation between the different partners in the region in the context of the cloud offering is an important step towards a new, future-oriented business model," said Secretary of State Westerfeld, representative of the Hessian Government for E-Government and Information Technology.

"It is only thanks to the optical fibre, which provides giga-bit network speed up to the data centre, that work can be carried out in the cloud as easily as with a server in the basement," confirms Hans-Peter Scheerer, Managing Director of Stadtwerke Rüsselsheim GmbH (SWR). Stadtwerke Rüsselsheim and its subsidiary Glasfaser SWR GmbH have been commissioned by the city council with the comprehensive construction of an optical fibre infrastructure for the city region. The Hasengrund industrial area and the surrounding residential area were selected for a pilot project, as this area has, until now, only had access to a bad internet connection.

"The Rüsselsheim City Cloud is the result of interaction between a truly modern communication network and a high-availability data centre," explained Wendelin Meyer-Mölck, Director of Sales at e-shelter facility services GmbH. This data centre provides any business, whether small trader or SME, with the security level of a DAX company. The 4,500 sqm data centre was opened in November 2012 and sets standards in terms of energy efficiency: it is cooled with fresh air using a new hybrid external air cooling system which saves up to 30 percent on energy costs compared to conventional cooling.

"Every company in Rüsselsheim can benefit from secure applications from the City Cloud," said Ralf Adebar, Solutions Specialist for the NCT group. The spectrum ranges from simple applications for data security to complete office solutions which are even directly supported by mobile devices. "These services can be offered without long-term contracts at prices that are in most cases cheaper to use than running their own IT systems."

The performance and scalability of the deployed cloud services is reflected in the fact that NCT uses IBM hardware and software. "This allows even small companies in Rüsselsheim to reap the benefits of high-end solutions, which would otherwise only normally be available to large companies," explained Adebar.

"In the context of the City Cloud initiative, IBM provides companies with cloud services which are flexible around the clock, scalable and demand-driven. IT arises from Cloud City like water from a well," summarises Jens Köhler, General Business Organisation & Mid-market Director at IBM Deutschland. This local Cloud Computing offers data storage according to German law, in addition to individual on-site support and advice.

By autumn, optical fibre will be laid in the Hasengrund district. The City Cloud will go live at the end of the year. Stadtwerke Rüsselsheim itself will also offer products for the end user, specifically internet, television and telephone, in addition to carrying out the construction and maintenance of the fibre-optic network infrastructure. "We will put together special packages for optical fibre use for City Cloud customers," announced Managing Director Scheerer. The prerequisite for this is that prospective homes install a connection for optical fibre.

Mayor Burghardt sees enormous potential in the Rüsselsheim City Cloud: "Companies that have their headquarters in Rüsselsheim, or who settle here in the future here will have a significant location advantage." There is no anonymous internet group with a foreign data centre behind the cloud, but distinguished suppliers who work locally, advising companies and making their work easier. Burghardt, who has been campaigning for the expansion of the optical fibre network from day one, concludes: "The City Cloud is very good news for Rüsselsheim."

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