Contrary to what you may see, data centers come in all shapes and sizes. Most of us picture a large, windowless room filled with rows and racks of servers and cooling equipment, but some companies are thinking outside that stereotypical data center box and putting their own unique spin on data centers.
Facebook’s Luleå Data Center
Facebook is hot, hot, hot, both literally and figuratively. The social media giant opened a data center in Luleå, Sweden, less than 100 miles south of the Artic Circle, specifically because of the cold climate. The Luleå data center draws in the area’s cold air to cool down the 290,000 square foot facility, reducing demand on the massive building’s hydropower system.
Google’s Facility in Hamina, Finland
Another server powerhouse, Google, looked north to open a data center too. Google chose Hamina, Finland, which is located directly on the Gulf of Finland. The facility uses the Gulf’s ice cold water to cool the thousands of servers located inside.
Swiss company SIAG Secure Infostore looked within the country’s own borders for data center locales. The company has two data centers located under the Swiss Alps. The facilities are former military bunkers and are often referred to as the Swiss Fort Knox. The difference is, they protect digital treasures instead of gold.
Microsoft Goes Deep
Microsoft is experimenting with an underwater data center. Though, not live yet, the company is hoping to build a data center deep underwater where it can use cold ocean water to keep the facility cool.
California may soon see a floating data center off the Port of Stockton. Nautilus Data Technologies is working hard to try and open a floating data center on a barge to, again, use seawater to keep servers running cool and save money on energy costs.
There’s Always Room For Innovation
We think this sort of innovation is exciting to see! Not only are these companies looking out for their bottom lines, many of them are reusing existing infrastructure or facilities to meet today’s tech needs. Not only that, they are working with the environment, instead of against it, to do so. For these businesses, it’s not so much a matter of bending the environment to their will as it is blending the environment with their will.