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

    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

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

    In 2008, Google floated the idea of putting datacenters 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 datacenters 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

  • Time to go deep underground for this next datacenter, into the caverns of a unused mine. The datacenter is situated 100 meters underground in a coal mine in the Chubu region of Honshu, Japan's main island.

    When complete, the facility will total 30 shipping containers, each holding about 250 servers and with about 10,000 processor cores available, although that number could be expanded to 30,000.

    Cooling is provided by groundwater and the 15C temperature underground dispenses with the need for air conditioning outside the containers.

    The datacenter was set up in 2007 by a joint venture made up of Sun, now owned by Oracle, and 11 other companies.

    The group estimates that it could save $9m a year on electricity costs by removing the need for water coolers.

    The containers are strong enough to withstand earthquakes of 6.7 on the Richter scale. The picture above is not of the mine used for the Sun datacentre, but a coal mine tunnel in Pennsylvania.

    Photo: zizzybaloobah

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 ...!