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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  • 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

  • It might pass for the lair of a James Bond supervillan but this former nuclear bunker is perhaps the world's most outlandish datacentre.

    This co-location facility for Swedish internet service provider Bahnhof lies 100 feet below Stockholm, and is decked out with tropical plants, a waterfall, 600-plus gallon fish tank and craggy granite walls.

    The servers are located in four caves, radiating from the centre of the bunker.

    Building work on the bunker began in 1943, and the shelter was extended during the Cold War to become a civil defence bunker stocked with provisions and emergency vehicles.

    The site's other claim to fame is hosting two servers for the Wikileaks whistleblower website.

    Photos: Bahnhof

  • datacentre on a boat

    One of the plans for the floating datacentre set out in Google's patent applicationPhoto: Google/

    Datacentres could be destined to leave dry land if search giant Google has its way.

    In 2008, Google floated the idea of putting datacentres on platforms that would sit three to seven miles offshore, and won a patent for the idea in 2009.

    Potential advantages range from the availability of wind and wave power and seawater cooling, to the absence of property taxes and building regulations.

    Google envisions that the datacentres would be modular and constructed on land inside standard shipping containers before being hauled via truck to ships and then unloaded onto floating pontoons.

    Photo: Louis Vest

Topics: Cloud, Data Centers, Hardware


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.