Focused on small satellites and data collected with them, ICEYE has in a few years grown from an Aalto University start-up to an international provider of satellite imaging. For the company that relays data for states, seafaring business and insurance companies, safe data center services are a must.
In 2014, Pekka Laurila started ICEYE with Rafał Modrzewski, whom he met in the Aalto University nanosatellite research group.
“The first satellite prototype was designed for use in maritime transport. The satellite allowed for relaying information to ships about the ice situation regardless of cloud covers, which gave us our name”, says Laurila, currently the company’s head of strategy.
Today, ICEYE serves the maritime sector, governments and finance and insurance businesses. According to Laurila, ICEYE staff is approximately 160 people. In addition to Finland, the company has offices in Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
What makes ICEYE’s operations unique is integrating highly precise synthetic aperture radars, SARs, into small satellites weighing less than one hundred kilograms that can accurately scan the surface of the planet regardless of clouds and send hourly updated data back to the ground.
“Our technology enables collecting reliable, objective and virtually real-time data in a cost-efficient way”, Laurila sums up.
INTERNATIONAL GROWTH COMPANY RELIES ON FINNISH DATA CENTER
ICEYE’s system transmits large volumes of frequently updated data, which sets strict requirements on the capacity, operational reliability and information security of the ICT infrastructure.
“What is particularly important to us is peak capacity. It must be possible to process and deliver a single image to the customers very quickly, when needed”, Laurila points out.
In addition, government regulations affect the retention and processing methods of ICEYE’s data. “We must be able to demonstrate the data processing chain to our customers and guarantee a certain security classification for it.”
In Finland, ICEYE keeps a significant portion of its device racks at Telia Helsinki Data Center. Located in Pitäjänmäki, the facility is one of the most modern data centers in Europe.
“The data center’s physical security, service level and Telia’s networking expertise were the factors that convinced us to choose this location. We also valued Telia’s actions for the environment: The heat produced in the operations of the Helsinki data center is routed to the district heating network, and the facility itself runs on green energy”, Laurila explains.
“We also source other services from Telia, such as mobile subscriptions and telephones as a monthly charged service. We feel that consolidating services with a single partner is beneficial to us.”
“At this stage, ICEYE is undergoing a period of strong growth. Therefore, it is now more important than ever that our ICT infrastructure works and guarantees operative reliability to us.”
– Pekka Laurila, ICEYE
Laurila says that ICEYE acquires more capacity for the data from cloud services, such as AWS. “When we need to scale up data storage, computing power or data sharing to our customers, the easiest way to do this is the cloud. The hybrid solution that consists of data center hardware and cloud services provides us with a suitable, agile and efficient combination that remains secure.”
At this stage, ICEYE is undergoing a period of strong growth, and our innovation is truly being commercialised. Therefore, it is now more important than ever that our ICT infrastructure works and guarantees operative reliability to us”, Laurila says.