Photos: The world's weirdest datacentres

Photos: The world's weirdest datacentres

Summary: From Antarctic computing centres to former churches, we look at some of the most unusual datacentres around the world.

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  • Located amid the colonnades and Romanesque arches of the Torre Girona chapel, MareNostrum is one of the fastest supercomputers in the world.

    No longer a place of worship, today the chapel is the site of supercomputing research into computer, Earth and life sciences.

    The machine has 10,240 IBM Power PC 970MP processors that have a combined peak performance of 94.21 teraflops.

    In November 2010, it was ranked 118 in the list of the top 500 supercomputers in the world.

    The supercomputer was built by the Spanish national and regional government and is used for research by a number of tech companies, including Microsoft and IBM.

    Photo: Barcelona Supercomputing Center

  • As the name suggests, the superconducting super collider was a big deal, so big in fact it would have put the Large Hadron Collider to shame.

    Unfortunately, the Texas-based particle accelerator was cancelled in 1993 after Congress deemed its projected $12bn price tag too expensive.

    By the time the project was cancelled, 14 miles of tunnel had been dug for the accelerator and nearly $2bn had been spent on the project.

    But science's loss is computing's gain - with the site now reportedly being marketed as a location for a tier III or IV datacentre.

    Photo: Department of Energy

  • When it comes to datacentres, cold is good. So building a facility in a country with the word 'ice' in its name would seem to make perfect sense.

    Verne Global is building a 45-acre datacentre complex in Iceland, on the former Nato airbase of Keflavik, seen here in active service.

    Low temperatures all year round will allow the use of fresh air or naturally chilled water for cooling, with Verne Global claiming typical savings of 80 per cent over alternative methods.

    All of Iceland's energy is produced by geothermal and hydroelectric energy, creating a 100 per cent green power supply for the datacentre.

    Iceland's mid-Atlantic location allows for low millisecond connections to London and New York.

    The area is relatively safe from natural disasters, with Verne Holding claiming the bedrock has very little chance of earthquakes and is situated away from volcanoes.

    Photo: US Defense Imagery

Topics: Cloud, Data Centers, Hardware

About

Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic UK. He writes about the technology that IT-decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

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  • also if Google's servers sit on ships in international waters

    Google is free to do with the data anything they want, because it's not sitting in the US, UK, ect.
    William Farrel
  • There's a plot for a Bond movie

    somewhere in here.
    Random_Error