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Datacentres have begun to rule the world — vast, secure, climate-controlled IT palaces that provide the backbone of our working lives.
This round-up of datacentres from around the world gives an insight into the powerful technology that toils behind the scenes to keep the modern world turning.
Capgemini's Merlin datacentre
Capgemini's Merlin datacentre (above) is housed within an old 86,000-square-foot warehouse in Swindon, UK. It has a total datacentre area of 10,000 square feet, and a power usage effectiveness (PUE) rating of 1.1.
PUE expresses the proportion of power that must be expended to support the IT infrastructure, versus the power that actually runs the racks, servers, network equipment and other essential components of the datacentre. A PUE rating of 1.1 means that only 10 percent of the total facility's power goes on the support infrastructure, with the rest going on the equipment. A PUE of 1.1, therefore, is pretty impressive — and it makes Capgemini's centre one of the most efficient in this collection.
Las Vegas Sands datacentre
The Las Vegas Sands Corporation runs two casino resorts in the gambling mecca, the Venetian and the Palazzo.
The two establishments run off the same infrastructure, which uses 300 servers to support more than 11,000 suites and rooms, 3,000 slot machines and 200 gambling tables, and run nine websites.
MORE DETAILS: Inside a Las Vegas casino resort datacentre
The bulk of the Venetian and Palazzo's core systems run on six IBM's iSeries servers (pictured), formerly known as AS/400s.
Image: David Meyer
Telecity Powergate datacentre
TelecityGroup's Powergate co-location facility in west London (above) is used as a spillover capacity site for data from the company's five Docklands-based and two City-based datacentres.
The facility has a PUE rating of around 1.65. As a co-location provider, Telecity is not able to choose the hardware in the facility, but it has some control over how it can increase energy efficiency.
It offers varying levels of security to companies, ranging from open racks (left) to cages (centre back) to cages with biometric and/or password protection (right).
TAKE THE TOUR: Inside Telecity's co-location datacentre
Image: Jack Clark