How to hide your datacenter in plain sight

A datacenter than fits into the look and feel of the local community is a great idea

Fiberpop Solutions, a Minnesota-based start-up, is looking to build ten of what they call community-based data-centers throughout the upper mid-west. Their plan involves putting these smaller datacenters where the customers are, and that means building facilities that fit in to the communities.

This isn't much of an issue when you are faced with large or small urban areas, as one industrial or office building pretty much just looks like another.  And as we have seen, datacenters have little trouble co-existing inside existing office towers or industrial parks. But Fiberpop's first datacenter plan, designed by Keith Waters & Associates, a Minnesota fine home building firm, sets a new standard for the concept of fitting your business into the local community.

From the proposal filed with the local planning commision

From the proposal filed with the local planning commision

The plans they have submitted for approval are for a 36,000 square foot datacenter  that fits easily into a community filled with upscale homes. Looking like a large, modern home, complete with gabled roofs, the exterior look of high-ceiling great rooms, and even a chimney to imply that warm, cozy fireplace, the facility is designed as a modern building that will be able to co-exist in a residential community without notice (beyond that, hopefully, the occasional comment of "Wow, that's a cool looking place.")

Business structures often are faced with dealing with the local residents NIMBY desires, but by hiding their community-based datacenter in plain sight, and not simply trying to stick a traditional office building in the middle of a residential area, Fiberpop and their architects might well have hit on the future design model for smaller datacenters servicing local business and community needs.

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