Mind-blowing data centers

Check out these stats and facts from the biggest, greenest, safest and strangest data centers.

The Big Ones

football fieldflickr/juggernautco

There are quite a few BIG data centers these days, ranging from 900,000 square feet or more. For perspective, 900,000 square feet is equal to the playing area of 15 football fields. Of course, it’s important to note that while some of these facilities are that big or bigger, not all of that space is currently being used.

Tulip Data Center in Bangalore, India (Developers: Tulip Telecom Ltd. and IBM)

  • 900,000 square foot data center space available

  • four tower building

  • 100 megawatts of power

NGD Europe’s Newport, Wales data center facility

  • 750,000 square feet housing up to 19,000 racks available

[ FREE DOWNLOAD: IT stress test aims to prove systems are tough | Six energy-efficient data center practices ]

The Green Ones


When it comes to data centers, green is hot. Many data centers are now being built from the ground to run on reusable energy, cut down on the amount of energy, and reduce the carbon footprint. Here are a few interesting facts we uncovered in the last year.

Verne Global’s data center in Keflavik, Iceland

  • 100% carbon neutral

  • 100% renewable energy (geothermal and hydroelectric power)

  • 100% freely cooled (Iceland’s ambient temperatures to provide free cooling)

CG Tech Services data center in Shoreline, Washington

  • 100% solar powered (powered by 120 on-site solar panels which generate electricity for the entire infrastructure)

  • 100% carbon free

  • emissions saved each year by the solar panels: 34,488+ pounds of CO2 (greenhouse) 50.6+ pounds of Nitrogen Oxide (smog) 37.4+ pounds of Sulfate (acid rain).

The Safe Ones

high voltageflickr/Rhys Asplundh

Data centers have always had to be secure. They also have had to be safe. Here’s a few interesting notes about one of the data centers that could rival Fort Knox.

Tulip Data Center in Bangalore, India developers

  • 20 generators

  • 10-feet stone fence surrounding the facility, with another 4-feet of electrical fence on top

  • Gated entries

  • Metal detectors

  • Handheld scanners

  • Explosive sniffers

  • RFID-enabled access systems

  • Biometric scanners

  • 1500 cameras

The Strange Ones

high voltageflickr/Glen Bowman

Data centers are being housed in the strangest of places – buildings that look like homes or parking garages or even water towers.

Lincoln Board of Education in Linoln, Neb.

  • Data center built in boiler room of old high school

Altamonte Springs, Fla., city government

  • Data center in a former water tank with 8-inch thick concrete walls and designed to hold 770,000 gallons of water

Beth Bacheldor writes ITworld's Data Center Diaries blog. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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