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The World's 5 Largest Data Centers

Updated on February 26, 2013

Container Data Center

Located in Northlake, Illinois in the city of Chicago; the Container Data Centre is the 5th largest in the world and is owned by Microsoft. The Container Data Center is unique because the servers on the ground floor are contained within double stacked, 40ft shipping containers. The 1st floor servers are contained more traditionally within raised floor space with both hot and cold isles. The upstairs area is where Microsoft’s ‘Live’ online service is powered. The data center itself is 770,000 Square feet and cost approximately $500,000,000 (£329,772,000 at the time of writing) to construct.

Next Generation Data (NGD) Europe

Located in Newport, Wales; the NGD Europe Data Center is 4th largest in the world. Originally, the building was commissioned to house a semi-conductor plant for technology giant LG. LG left the plant shortly after its 1998 completion leaving it empty. NGD then came in and converted the plant into a 3-story data center capable of housing more than 19000 containers of servers and storage. The data center is giant, boasting an impressive size of 750,000 square feet. Companies currently making use of the facility include UK telecoms colossus BT and Logika.

The NAP of the Americas Data Center

The NAP of the Americas data center is a purpose built facility based in Miami, Florida. The building is designed to withstand up to a force 5 hurricane, flooding (of 100-year storm ferocity) and is built with 7-inch thick steel reinforced concrete blocks for protection. Just for added measure, equipment is stored 32-feet above sea level and the building is not located within a FEMA 500-year designated flood zone.

Three large globes located on the building roof contain 3 satellite dishes which provide back-up to mission critical clients should the center ever lose its fibre connectivity.

The NAP of the Americas Data Center is at 750,000 square feet and construction was completed in 2001.

QTS Metro Data Center

The QTS Metro Data Center is located in downtown Atlanta, Georgia and is the 2nd largest data center in the world. Orignally built in 1954 as a distribution center for sears, MetroNexus and Corelocation bought the site in the early 000’s and injected around 80 million dollars to convert it into what it is today.

The huge facility is powered by its own on site substation and has not 1, not 2, but 19 two-megawatt diesel generators to provide back up. QTS acquired the building in 2006 and have invested atleasr $150 million in order to expand and upgrade the center.

Currently the building stands at 971,000 square feet with a data footprint of over 500,000 sq ft.

That brings us to number one…

The world’s largest data center is…

The Lakeside Technology Center

The Lakeside Technology Center brings us back to Chicago, Illinois. The data center is owned by Digital Realty Trust but is shared by over 70 tenants. The facility is so vast in size that it is the 2nd largest consumer of power for Commonwealth Edison, behind only O’Hare Airport, also located in Chicago. The grid power is backed up by over 50 generators; these are powered by the multiple 30,000 litre diesel tanks, also located on site.

One of the most distinctive features of this data center – other than its sheer size – is the 8.5 million gallon thermal energy storage tank. The tank also serves nearby landmarks such as the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

The Lakeside Technology Center is sized at 1.1 million square feet.

Author's Notes

The Interoute website provides more information on this topic and more including cloud hosting, managed hosting and Colocation

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