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The World's Largest Data Centers 87

1sockchuck writes "It seems data centers are getting bigger all the time. Who has the world's largest server farm? Data Center Knowledge has put together a list of 10 huge data centers, all between 400,000 and 1.1 million square feet. The story highlights the trend toward ever-bigger data centers, such as the Vegas SuperNAP and Microsoft's container data center, as well as established behemoths like the NAP of the Americas in Miami and Lakeside Technology Center in Chicago."
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The World's Largest Data Centers

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  • I love networking and datacenters... it seems very exciting to me to think about designing and maintaining a datacenter like that.

    This [slashdot.org] was one of the most exciting threads I've ever read on Slashdot, if that tells you anything.

  • Hmm (Score:5, Interesting)

    by The MAZZTer ( 911996 ) <megazzt@NoSPam.gmail.com> on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:00AM (#31831080) Homepage
    Google didn't make the top 10? I'm shocked!
    • Re:Hmm (Score:5, Funny)

      by Luke has no name ( 1423139 ) <foxNO@SPAMcyberfoxfire.com> on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:02AM (#31831142)

      They have 750 server farms vying for 11th.

  • by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:02AM (#31831130)
    While it won't be filled up with computer equipment, Quality Technology Services just bought the former Qimonda fab plant in Richmond VA [timesdispatch.com] for use as a data centre. At 1.3 million square feet it ranks (according the link) as one of largest in the USA. Who knows how much of it will be actually used, as I heard an interview with the CEO that said one of the reasons they bought the site was because it had "room for growth".
  • Is A BotNet (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:05AM (#31831166)

    considered to be a "Data Center"?

    Yours In Astrakhan,
    Kilgore Trout

  • by blackchiney ( 556583 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:15AM (#31831254)
    I used to live right across the street from the Terramark NAP in downtown Miami. Then the fuckers put up 3 big satellite dishes on the roof and blocked my view of the bay. I'm not bitter but I used to get so much tail with that view. :-)
    • Well, if you get on another roof, and shoot the dishes down?
      Of course “the wind” would be a better excuse. ^^

  • The 10 (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:15AM (#31831256)

    Since the site is being clobbered and doesn't have a huge datacentre...

    10. The SuperNAP, Las Vegas (Switch Communications)
    9A and 9B. Microsoft Data Centers in Quincy Washington and San Antonio
    8. CH1, Elk Grove Village, Ill. (DuPont Fabros)
    7. Phoenix ONE, Phoenix (i/o Data Centers)
    6. Microsoft Dublin (Microsoft)
    5. Container Data Center, Chicago (Microsoft)
    4. NGD Europe, Newport Wales (Next Generation Data)
    3. The NAP of the Americas, Miami (Terremark)
    2. Metro Technology Center, Atlanta (Quality Technology)
    1. 350 East Cermak / Lakeside Technology Center (Digital Realty)

    • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by Icegryphon ( 715550 )
      Now I can think of 11 places that just became great bullseye like the center of the Pentagon.
    • The most popular location in the top 10 is Chicago, IL, with three of the largest data centers. 350 E. Cermak is across from Chicago's convention center. Elk Grove Village is west of O'Hare Airport.

      Why Chicago? It's a central US location. It doesn't get too hot. Power reliability is good. Transportation access is good. Earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods are rare. There are many big, solid industrial buildings available. It's not as depressed as Detroit or Cleveland.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by frinkster ( 149158 )

      #1, #5, and #8 in Chicago?

      In the 1600s French explorers wrote about finding a location in the center of the new world which would be the most strategic location for controlling shipping by water. Indeed, for many years in the 1800s Chicago was the busiest port in the United States. But the age of the railroad was approaching and Chicago decided it must be the center of that as well. To this day, more than 60% of rail traffic in the United States runs through Chicago. In the 1900s a fast expanding Americ

  • by jtara ( 133429 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:17AM (#31831278)

    Too bad this wasn't hosted at one of world's 10 biggest data centers. If it had been, the site might have survived the Slashdot effect.

  • i would have said that a datacenter in las vegas makes no sense

    but of course, i'm forgetting the hoover dam: guaranteed cheap power

    which makes sense, because the hoover dam is the only reason las vegas can exist as a city in the first place

    so for any of you datacenter builders of the future: look for intersections of traffic flows and hydroelectric dams

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Shakrai ( 717556 )

      If you are going for cheap hydro power and a cooler climate why not put your data center in Western NY?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by JAZ ( 13084 )

        I used to work at a company that had a large one in Utica... they had trouble with blizzards and would have to plan to have a support team snowed in and unable to leave for days at a time.

      • but the issue is traffic flows. las vegas is situated nicely between denver, los angeles, and all the traffic flowing to the east

        but in wester ny, you are off center of the boston/ new york/ washington corridor, and off center of the ny-chicago intartubules

        is there fibre along the erie canal? (im a complete idiot on this question). it would make sense after all for a toronto/ montreal chicago/ new york city hub to run something there

      • Or Quebec. Cool climate to the extreme and tons of hydro.
      • If you are going for cheap hydro power and a cooler climate why not put your data center in Western NY?

        Because nothing is "cheap" unless supply is larger than demand. There's plenty of people around NEW YORK to consume that "cheap" power, to the point it isn't cheap any longer.

        In Las Vegas, however, there's a relatively small population, and it's a good distance away from any other population centers which might wish to consume that cheap power...

        Additionally, the desert is underrated. Large quantities of

    • Vegas has **huge** internet-tubes. Hoover dam huge. http://www.cogentco.com/img/other/networkmap_large.jpg [cogentco.com] I would assume there are other carriers going through Vegas too.

      No meaningful earthquake threat out there. Sure, you'll get the occasional roller from Cali, but that's it. The weather isn't a big issue either. The data center's going to go up in smoke if the cooling quit regardless of where the data center is located.

    • by chaim79 ( 898507 )

      I wouldn't be surprised if it has more to do with the gaming laws, every transaction from every slot machine/gambling device needs to be recorded and stored for a long time (over 5 years I think) that makes for a Lot of storage.

    • The one I am most surprised at is Phoenix ONE. Although we are having a very cold year this year (it hasn't even hit 90 yet [32 for those outside the US], and we are already into April), normally cooling costs would be huge. I know they have done some work with chillers to replace air conditioners, but cooling that size space in 115 degree heat (46 Celsius) can't be cheap.

      Phoenix does have some advantages, though. Very low earthquake probability, slim chance of flooding, and hurricanes and tornados are thi

    • You want a great datacenter location? Iceland.

      1) Endless cheap green power (geothermal & hydropower).
      2) Optimal climate for datacenter cooling.
      3) Well educated and motivated workforce Very friendly.
      4) With their economy right now, it's a buyer's market.
      5) Their submarine cable infrastructure has been growing steadily. Currently served by cables to Europe and North America.
      • location is really really good between europe/ north america

        the cable layers would need thick hulls, but otherwise, yeah: i think iceland is well-suited as an ideal datacenter location of the future, for political reasons even

        • Actually, I think that Iceland remains free of sea ice thanks to ocean currents, so unless you planned on routing the cable via Greenland, you'd be fine.
    • I think a solar-thermic power plant, plus hydrogen production for the night, should work nicely, even when there’s nothing but desert in sight.

  • Ok, square footage and power might be impressive to some. I really just want to know the number of fiber lines and bandwidth in these data centers. I figure if it is about 1 TB/s, I could consider renting space for an apartment there for the right price.
    • by mpapet ( 761907 )

      Even if you are a fan of loud white noise and cold breezes, bringing a girl home would be uh, problematic. The physical access control might not turn her off, but getting comfy on a bench next to a 42u won't impress her.

    • by mdf356 ( 774923 )

      I want to know the total storage. These are data centers, and all they are reporting on is the physical size of the building and the power needed. How much data can they store with that space/power? Which is the most efficient in its use of space or electricity per terabyte?

  • I would think that hurricane damage, flood potential, etc. would be a problem.

    • The place is a something to really see. Ground floor is parking, entrance etc. Floor to ceiling is about 15 feet. Miami is about 4-5 feet above sea level. The entire thing is encased in a hurricane/bomb proof structure and designed to withstand galeforce winds. So you'd need a 20 foot storm surge (low pressure area that creates a bubble of water) before you got to to the area where servers are stored. I'm not even sure most servers are on the 2nd story. They could keep more equipment there and put server/sw
  • The "NAP of the Americas" with 160 networks converging on it, sounds like the opposite of the Internet's original decentralized design. Not that the 7-inch-thick concrete panel walls sound fragile, but hardly impregnable, either. I'm thinking the truckload of glorified fertilizer that demolished the Murrah building would still give it a bad day.

    No doubt I was silly to think even a few of these monsters were out of the way in places easier to secure with a chain-link fence and a few cameras that could se

  • They missed the largest data center in the world, the @Tokyo data center in Tokyo, Japan. It's over 1.5 million square feet, large enough to have it's own train station (Shintoyosu station). It sits on a piece of land out in Tokyo Bay in the section of the city known as Odaiba. I had a chance to do some work there a couple years ago when Lehman had a lot of space there (my pictures of the data center are here http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexkane/sets/72157623651979353/ [flickr.com]).

    Some more info on the @Tokyo d
  • Anyone else here more of a perv than a nerd and can only come up with Nudes A Poppin' when trying to remember what NAP means?

  • Well done, give terrorists excellent targets for future attacks. Yes, bombing a few buildings or vehicles and killing people will get you in the headlines but take down data centers and you can really screw the world. Or would they avoid them as they may have data stored in them too? Hmmm...

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