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April 2, 2015updated 10 Oct 2017 11:37am

Top 10 biggest data centres from around the world

Who boasts the most square footage?

By Joao Lima

There are hundreds of data centres spread across the globe. The majority are relatively small, with an average size of around 100,000 sq ft. But then, there are the big ones which use as much energy as a small city with a couple thousand inhabitants.

Which ones are the biggest? To answer that question, CBR has compiled a list of the top 10 biggest data centres by size and capacity.


1. Range International Information Group

Location: Langfang, China
Area: 6,300,000 Sq. Ft.

The Chinese economic and technology boom of previous decades is leading the country’s government to invest more on the IT sector. As a result, new data centres are urgently needed. By the time the Range International Information Group data centre is completed, its square footage will be nearly the same size as the Pentagon in Washington and equivalent to nearly 110 football pitches.

Range’s 6.3 million square foot facility is being built in the Hebei province and is expected to be finished next year.

The building will be used as the IT infrastructure platform of Langfang Range Int’l Information Hub in the Hebei Langfang Economic Development Zone.

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The venture will help to further develop Langfang City and will be used as a host for smarter transportation, e-government, administration systems, and food and drug safety services.


2. Switch SuperNAP

Location: Nevada, USA
Area: 3,500,000 million Sq. Ft.

Switch is still owner of the world’s largest data centre. Its title will remain untouched until the Chinese Range International Information Hub opens next year.

The base is stratigically located in Las Vegas, southern Nevada, to avoid natural disasters. There are plans for the centre to undergo a major expansion plan across 1,000 acres of land in the Tahoe Reno Industrial Centre at a cost of $1 billion, making Nevada the most digitally connected state in the US.

Switch estimates works to be completed between 2020 and 2025.

The project includes the deployment of 500 miles of fiber optic network cables that will connect Reno, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Data will travel between Reno and Las Vegas in just 7 milliseconds, giving 50 million people access to data within 14 milliseconds.


3. DuPont Fabros Technology

Location: Virginia, USA
Area: 1,600,000 million Sq. Ft.

Part of a data centre agglomerate made of six buildings, the DuPont Fabros Technology campus boasts a total of 1.6 million sq ft following the opening of the ACC7 facility in September 2014.

With 28 computer rooms and capacity for over 10.5 thousand servers, the ACC7 has 450 thousand sq ft of commercial area and produces 41.6 MW of power.

DuPont built the centre with a medium voltage electrical distribution system and an isolated parallel uninterruptible power supply topology.


4. Utah Data Centre

Location: Utah, USA
Area: 1,500,000 million Sq. Ft.

The Utah Data Centre, officially named the ‘Intelligence Community Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative Data Centre for the US Intelligence Community’, is located at Camp Williams near Bluffdale, Utah.

Completed in May 2014, construction costs topped $1.5 billion. At the time of its opening, Forbes estimated the storage capacity to be between three and 12 exabytes, with the possibility of this being extended in the future.

During the construction, the new 65 MW centre made headlines because of the several power surges that brought systems down over 13 months, damaging equipment with costs surpassing the $1m mark.


5. Microsoft Data Centre

Location: Iowa, USA
Area: 1,200,000 Sq. Ft.

Microsoft announced plans in April 2014 to build yet another data centre. The new facility will add 1.2 million sq ft of commercial space to the giant’s portfolio that already grosses 4.1 million sq ft. If all its data centre buildings were put together, Bill Gates’ company would rank first for the largest amount of data centre space with 6.3 million square footage.

The site is located in West Des Moines, Iowa. At a cost of $1.13 billion the new facility will expand servers over one million square feet. The new infrastructure is due to be finished between 2019 and 2021.

In 2008 Microsoft built the first base in the region with a massive expansion at a cost of $677.6 million being carried in 2013. The new stage of construction is part of a $2 billion project named Alluvion.


6. Lakeside Technology Centre

Location: Chicago, USA
Area: 1,100,000 Sq. Ft.

The telecommunications hub is owned by Digital Realty Trust, a Schneiuder Electric customer, and is used by companies like IBM, CenturyLink, Facebook and TelX.

The enormous facility has a backup of 53 generators for any eventuality and utilises 8.5 million gallons of cooling fluid per year.

The industrial building was originally built to house the printing presses for Yellow Book and Sears Catalogues. It now holds fibers and power cabling, and heavy computing equipment, producing hundreds of megawatts of power.


7. Tulip Data Centre

Location: Bangalore, India
Area: 1,000,000 Sq. Ft.

The Tulip Data Centre is currently the largest data centre in the world outside the US.

In 2011, Tulip Telecom announced the construction of that that would become the largest data centre facility in Asia (until 2016).

IBM was chosen by the teleco to assist with design consultancy for the overall data centre space covering a range of data centre technologies, including power, cooling, rack layout, chillers, UPS, DG sets and others. Furthermore, the company helped with turnkey execution to build the first phase of the data centre.

Consultant Schnabel was also chosen to make the company’s project come to light by offering peer review consulting to Tulip.


8. QTS Metro Data Centre

Location: Atlanta, USA
Area: 990,000 Sq. Ft.

The centre was constructed in 1954 as a Sears southeast distribution centre, and today gets power from an 80 MW on-site substation dedicated to the Metro facility.

In 2000 MetroNexus and CoreLocation bought the building and converted it to a telecom and data centre use at a cost of $80 million. Six years later, in October 2006, Quality technology Services bought the 1033 Jefferson Street venue in Atlanta.

The structure is fed by two substations and two electrical grids. An extra 36 generators support 16 independent UPS systems. Over 600 CRAH units (30-ton and 70-ton), provide air flow to raised floor space.


9. Next Generation Data Europe

Location: Wales, Uk
Area: 750,000 Sq. Ft.

Completed in 1998, the Next Generation Data Europe data centre in Newport is Europe’s largest data centre facility.

Originally built to host an LG semiconducter plant, BT and Logica are the two main costumers of NGD since 2010, occupying two 75 thousand sq ft halls each.

BT deployed hundreds of server racks in the Welsh data centre, aiming to increase capacity for IT and communications services for its customers in the UK and worldwide.

Logica’s usage of the facility was planned to help manage the IT requirements of its governmental clients.

It’s 19,000 server cabinets plus storage are displaced across three floors with the capability to also host private data centre pods. It also has shell space to accommodate data centre container installations.


10. NAP of the Americas

Location: Miami, USA
Area: 750,000 Sq. Ft.

The NAP of the Americas, a Terremark data centre, was constructed in 2001 as a centralised infrastructure utilised by over 183 networks. It also detains a Tier-III class facility denomination with redundant power and cooling infrastructure.

In 2011, telecoms Verizon bought the facility for $1.4 billion in a bid to accelerate its “everything-as-a-service” cloud computing.

More than 160 global carriers exchange data at the NAP of the Americas. Currently, some companies making use of racks, servers and other services at the central downtown Miami building include NewServices, Voxility, Locaweb and PanamaIT.

To power the station, 12 HiTEC continuous power systems work at full speed providing 10x better transfer rate than typical battery-based UPS. A medium-voltage switchgear is fed by three independent 13,200 volt feeders.

The building was erected outside the FEMA 500-year flood zone and features seven-inch thick steel-reinforced concrete exterior panels.

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