Almost every aspect of our daily lives is driven by data. The way we communicate revolves around data. We live in the information age where most things we do can be quantified or subject to a certain collection of data. Marketing entities, data analysts, and even us as the consumer use data to communicate to each other. Companies use data to market goods and services, and consumers use data to decide on what products and services are the best. As the information age continues to expand the data center industry also continues to grow. There are many data centers around the world, and several of these data centers are extraordinary in size and/or build.
There are many data centers around the world, but the United States has the most. As of February 2021, the United States has 2,653 data centers (35% of the world’s total). The next country with the most in the United Kingdom at 451. Germany has 442 data centers, Canada has 279, the Netherlands has 274, Australia has 272, France has 248, and Japan has 199.
The United States has data center hubs in several different cities including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Boston, Philadelphia, New Jersey, and San Francisco. These cities have become some of the main data center hubs around the world because of their proximity to a highly populated metropolitan area. Proximity is one of the most important aspects of a data center’s connectivity. The connection is faster, and if there is a disaster or an emergency of some sort the response time would be faster than in other rural areas.
A data center is a facility made up of networked computers and storage that many companies use to organize, process, and store their data. Because we live in the information age, the physical footprint of data centers can be quite large.
As of September 2020, the largest data center is The Citadel in Tahoe Reno, Nevada. This gigantic data center spans 7.2 million square feet of physical space. It also has one of the largest single data center buildings measuring 1.3 million square feet of space.
The second-largest data center is found in the Hubei province in China. The Range International Information group data center is 6.3 million square feet. This enormous data center is almost as large as the United States Pentagon.
The world’s third-largest data center is the Switch SuperNap data center. This large data center is located in Las Vegas, Nevada, and measures 3.5 million square feet.
Rounding off the top five largest data centers in the world are the DFT data center in Ashburn, Virginia measuring at 1.6 million square feet, the Intelligence Community Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative Data Center in Bluffdale, Utah which measures in at 1.5 million square feet. These data centers are massive operations that require a large staff and a substantial budget. The smallest data center on this list requires about $40 million each year on electricity.
Data centers come in various shapes and sizes. This next group of data centers may not be the largest, but they are some of the most interesting data centers in the world. One of the most unique data centers in the world is the Google Data Center in Hamina, Finland. The company converted a 60-year-old paper mill into 86, 110 square foot data centers. This data center is also mainly powered by renewable wind energy and is cooled completely by a high-tech cooling system produced by seawater.
The Pionen Data Center in Stockholm, Sweden is built in an old civil defense center 100 feet below the White Mountains Sodermalm borough. The solitary entrance is a door only accessible through a tunnel. This data center incorporates a greenhouse and a large saltwater fish tank to help employees feel like they are above ground.
Microsoft’s Project Natick is also one of the most unique data centers in the world. This underwater data center is powered by offshore renewable energy. This 40 ft. long data center that contains 12 racks and 864 servers takes liquid immersion cooling to another level. The entire data center is submerged underwater.
There are several other unique data centers around the world including one built in the arctic circle, another built-in 19th-century cathedral, and more. The data center industry is finding new ways to power, secure, and store the world’s servers.
The best data center for you or your business may not be in one of the largest data centers in the world. The best data center location may not be in a retrofitted paper mill or a civil defense center 100 feet inside of a mountain. The best data center location may not be under the sea, the arctic circle, or a 19th-century cathedral.
One of the most important factors regarding the best data center locations is proximity. This means several different things. The data center should be close in proximity to your business and close in proximity to your customers and consumers. This is why the large metropolitan areas are also known as data center hubs. Your business may or may not be located in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Boston, Philadelphia, New Jersey, and San Francisco. But there is a good chance that many existing and future patrons will be in one of these large metropolitan areas.
Location is one of the most important factors in choosing a data center provider. Finding a data center provider in these metropolitan areas won’t be difficult, but one thing you shouldn’t neglect when choosing a data center is the provider itself. If you’re looking for a data center in Los Angeles or any of the cities mentioned above, Colocation America has data centers in all 8 major cities. Connect with us today.