Unusual And Innovative Data Centres
While we’re all enjoying the many benefits of the cloud, including reduced hardware requirements and lower energy costs, data centers are popping up all over to meet our cloud needs. Many providers take the conventional route of data giants such as the 990,000 square foot QTS Metro Data Center building in Atlanta and Miami’s NAP of the Americas’ 750,000 square foot construction. A few others are choosing more unusual locations and methods of data housing, taking advantage of energy efficiency, security, and other resources.
The SUPERNAP Pyramid
(Image Source: Wikipedia)
Formerly owned by Steelcase, the largest office furniture manufacturer in the world, this site is reportedly looking to build a $5 billion, 2 million square-foot SUPERNAP data center at the former Steelcase office building. The seven-story building, featuring a glass and granite exterior, and a two-level industrial underground complex, includes the world’s only spherical compound pendulum that constantly swings in the atrium between the points of sunrise and sunset.
The $5 billion reflects the costs for both the data centers and the computer servers that will be placed inside the buildings over a multi-year period, according to the company. SUPERNAP Michigan will be the largest data center campus in the eastern U.S. and will serve Switch’s current and new clients.
“Switch SUPERNAP Data Centers are the best commercial data centers in the world. They’re extraordinarily sophisticated, they have hundreds of patents, this is really the industry leading company,” said James VanderMey co-owner of Open Systems Technologies. “This is now a facility that will host companies like Ebay, Amazon, the internet scale companies of the world that’s really an opportune to bring that to Grand Rapids.”
Floating Data Centers
In 2009 reports that Google was developing a floating data center came to light, but the company insisted that the disadvantages of such a solution made the concept unfavorable. However, Nautilus Data Technologies recently announced their successful launch of the first Waterborne Data Center Prototype with construction set to begin immediately.
“The Nautilus proof of concept prototype exceeded all expectations — validating how our waterborne approach will provide the most cost effective, energy efficient and environmentally sustainable data center on the market,” said Arnold Magcale, CEO and co-founder, Nautilus Data Technologies. “Our innovations are the most significant data center advances in decades — marking a revolutionary change in the data center industry.”
Traditional data center models are unsustainable. They are expected to consume 140 billion kilowatt-hours annually by 2020, costing American businesses $13 billion a year in electricity bills and emitting nearly 100 million metric tons of carbon pollution per year. With its proprietary infrastructure, and its complete suite of cloud and predictive data center infrastructure management (DCIM) technologies, Nautilus will help its customers reduce both their data center expenses and carbon footprints.
“I admit I was skeptical at first, wondering who could have a material impact on data center economics while still reducing risk,” said Jay Kerley, CIO of Applied Materials, Inc. “But the leadership at Nautilus Data Technologies has done just that. Proprietary technology that will always keep you steps ahead of the efficiency curve no matter the underlying pace of change and innovation.”
Installed in Barcelona’s 19th Century Torre Girona chapel, The Barcelona Supercomputing Center’s (BSC) MareNostrum was once the most powerful supercomputer in Europe, and the BSC is considered one of the most beautiful data centers in the world. The exterior of this publically funded research center suggests a typical Spanish chapel. Inside, the MareNostrum is housed in a giant glass box, using more than 10,000 processors to perform 94 trillion operations per second.
Built in an ex-Ministry of Defense nuclear bunker in Kent, England, this 18-acre site is secured by a 3 meter-high barbed-wire topped perimeter fence. The underground data center has 3-meter-thick reinforced concrete walls, and the only entrance is through a security checkpoint, complete with electronic barriers and bulletproof glass. And to ensure your sleep is undisturbed by data security concerns, the Bunker also has an onsite security team of ex-military, ex-police, and guard dogs, patrolling the facility 24 hours a day.
By Jennifer Klostermann