Strangest locations for datacenters (photos)

Strangest locations for datacenters (photos)

Summary: You can find datacenters in all corners of the globe, well beneath the Earth's surface, and even in churches, according to Silicon.com's Nick Heath.

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  • Today, datacenters can be found in the most unusual locations - anywhere from ice-locked ex-military bases to Spanish chapels. Silicon.com' Nick Heath decided to round up some of the most interesting and remote locations around the world housing and processing computer data.

    With the problems that datacenters have with cooling, the Antarctic is perhaps the ideal site for such a facility. This is McMurdo station, home to the largest community in the South Pole and a scientific research center for the United States.

    The station's datacentre is dedicated to supporting scientific work and running the station - with 64 servers and more than 2TB of storage connected to hundreds of desktops by a gigabit Ethernet network.

    McMurdo Station is the telecoms hub for science projects, field camps and operations in western Antarctica funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

    To provide these services, it has a central telephone exchange and a wide spectrum of network, radio-frequency and satellite-communication systems.

    At the South Pole, every day up to 100GB of science data is transferred from the station to the US via satellite-communication links in support of multiple NSF-funded science projects.

    Photo: Eli Duke

    Captions: Nick Heath, silicon.com

  • 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

Topics: Storage, Data Centers, Hardware

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10 comments
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  • RE: Strangest locations for datacenters (photos)

    How do you figure out where west is in Antarctica?
    boomchuck1
    • RE: Strangest locations for datacenters (photos)

      @boomchuck1: ROTFLMAO ! I'd like to hear the answer to that myself!
      The Reverend
    • West in Antartica

      @boomchuck1

      Easy question. It's counter-clockwise.
      bob.kerns2
      • RE: Strangest locations for datacenters (photos)

        @bob.kerns2
        Go to the South Pole and look north along the GM. Everything to the left is West.

        yumsun
        yumsun@...
  • RE: Strangest locations for datacenters (photos)

    Only "Easy" if you take a self-absorbed viewpoint; certainly less-than useful if you're arranging a meeting point or giving someone directions. At zero latitude, longitude is a consensual way to establish direction. Besides, boomchuck1 was being irreverent, creative & playful (which I greatly enjoyed) but, which is likely to go right over the heads of some high-functioning Asperger-types...
    deltadan
  • Cold is good

    Cold is good if you have a fridge in youyr PC tower freezing the CPU & GPU. On a room or building sized scale it is a nightmare as static electrical charges build up much more readily and to a greater level than in warmer, humid environments. MAke sure that earthing strap is well connected!
    DOSlover
  • RE: Strangest locations for datacenters (photos)

    I have 2TB of storage on my Desktop, so you probably meant 2PB....
    legleye@...
  • McMurdo and south Pole?

    For some reason I get the impression the author is trying to say that McMurdo station is at the South Pole. McMurdo is on the coast of Antarctica, more than 600 miles from the south Pole (and in a position where East and West are clearly significant). Or to put it another way, McMurdo is about as close to the south Pole as northern Greenland is to the North Pole. Get your facts straight, ZD.
    gardoglee
  • RE: Strangest locations for datacenters (photos)

    2Tb of storage - Wow !!!
    neilpost
  • RE: Strangest locations for datacenters (photos)

    2Tb would be impressive,,, if it was on floppies.
    What the ...!