Data centers are facilities which are specifically designed and built to house computer, storage and telecommunications systems.
The origins of data centers can be traced back to the 1960s, when computers were first developed commercially. What may be called the first data center was a computer center in Briarcliff Manor, New York, for the use of IBM and American Airlines.
Ever wondered about the inside track on the data centers that power your favorite web services?
This infographic takes lets you compare some of the world’s most impressive data centers…
A Look at Awesome Data Centers
Today, data centers are used by every person connected to the Internet. Each time you…
- Upload a photo
- Send an email
- Update your Facebook status
…you use a data center.
Ten Largest Data Centers
- 350 East Cermak, Chicago – 1.1 million square feet
- Metro Technology Center, Atlanta – 990,000 square feet
- The NAP of the Americas, Miami – 750,000 square feet
- NDG Europe, Newport, Wales – 750,000 square feet
- Chicago Data Center, Chicago – 500,000 square feet
- Microsoft, Dublin – 550,000 square feet
- Phoenix ONE, Phoenix – 538,000 square feet
- CH1, Elk Grove Village, Illinois – 485,000 square feet
- 9A and 9B, Microsoft Data Center, Quincy, WA / San Antonio – 470,000 square feet
- The SuperNAP, Las Vegas – 407,000 square feet
Impact of Data Centers
- Today’s data centers take up a lot of resources: space and energy.
- Electricity consumption of US data centers: 1.5% of the country’s total consumption.
- The ICT sector is responsible for 2% of the world’s Global Carbon Emissions, of which 14% is attributed to data centers.
Greenest Data Centers
A green data center is designed in such a way as to maximize energy efficiency and minimize environmental impact.
- Green Mountain
- Verne Global’s Keflavik Facility
- HP’s Wynard Data Center
- General Electric’s Louisville Facility
- Apple’s Maiden & Prineville Facilities
Data Centers of Popular Services
The most popular web sites/consumer tech brands today may not be found in the list of largest data centers. That’s because some of these sites actually use the services of other data centers, although some of them have their own dedicated facilities.
- Has 1 BILLION monthly active users
- Generates 1 TRILLION page views a month
- 1.13 TRILLION likes since launch
- 140.3 BILLION friend connections since launch
- 219 BILLION photos uploaded since launch
- 62.6 MILLION+ songs played 22 billion times
Facebook’s Data Centers
- Facebook leases space in about 9 different data centers
- Facebook has a campus in Prineville, Oregon, Forest City, North Carolina, and is constructing one in Lulea, Sweden
- Facebook has spent $210 million for the first phase of the Prineville facility
- Facebook takes the environment seriously and is pushing boundaries by using natural airflow to cool its servers
- Their data centers also make use of clean energy to minimize carbon footprint.
- Twitter has more than 500 MILLION active users.
- More than 340 MILLION tweets are shared each day.
- More than 1.6 BILLION search queries are done per day.
Twitter’s Data Centers
- Up till 2010, Twitter leased space from NTT America
- In March 2011, Twitter moved into its own custom-built data center in Salt Lake City.
- As 2012 comes to an end, Twitter is adding another 100,000 square feet of space at the Metro Tech data center in Atlanta
- In 2011, 1.72 TRILLION searches were conducted on Google; 4.72 BILLION per day.
- Google+ has 400 MILLION users, with more than 100 MILLION active users
- Google’s Data Centers
- Google’s data centers are known to be some of the most efficient in the world.
- Google has data centers in the Americas, Asia, and Europe.
- Slightly contrary to the usual secretiveness involved in data centers, Google has a Street View tour of one of its data centers in Lenoir, NC. The address given is still approximate, though.
- Google places a strong emphasis on using renewable energy such as solar and wind.
- Has more than 500 MILLION users worldwide
- Yahoo Mail has about 310 MILLION users
- Yahoo search has 12% of the market share
Yahoo!’s Data Centers
- Yahoo! has many data centers of varying sizes around the world. Exact numbers are kept secret.
- The Yahoo! Computing Coop in Lockport, NY is designed based on chicken coops, to maximize air flow and lessen costs and energy usage.
- Yahoo’s data center in Quincy, WA makes use of patented cold-aisle containment system. They have achieved one of the best figures in Power Usage Effectiveness.
- Apple is worth more than any company in history, hitting a peak of $664.74 per share in August 2012.
- Apple iCloud has 190 MILLION users.
- Apple’s Data Centers
- Apple’s data center in Maiden, NC is ALMOST entirely reliant on renewable energy. By the end of 2012, it will be the case.
- Apple’s data center solar arrays are the largest private installation in the country.
- Prineville, OR is the location for Apple’s newest data center, where they plan on relying totally on renewable resources as well.
- Rumor has it that Apple is eyeing Hong Kong for its first overseas data center.