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The 10 Largest Data Centers In The World

Data centers are the backbone of our digital economy. With the growth of the internet, the need for more network capacity and data storage has increased exponentially, driving companies to create a new class of data center that can grow right along with it. Take a look at the 10 largest data center facilities in the world!

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10. Small Town, Big Data: Microsoft Data Centers - Quincy, WA & San Antonio, TX (470,000 SF) / Via

In 2007, Microsoft began building its first data center in the small town of Quincy, Washington conveniently backed up by hydro electric power from nearby dams on the Columbia River. A year later, they unveiled a similar facility in San Antonio, Texas, which uses a recycled water system of more than 8 million gallons of water to support their cooling needs. That's nearly 160,000 baths!

9. Would You Like Fries with Your Data?: CH1 - Elk Grove Village, IL (485,000 SF) / Via

The CH1 facility is the largest data center for DuPont Fabros Technology. It's supported by 32 two-megawatt diesel backup generators, enough power to sustain more than 600 fast food restaurants at a given time.

8. Rise of the Phoenix: Phoenix ONE - Phoenix, AZ (538,000 SF) / Via

Acting as both a data center and i/o's corporate headquarters, this enormous facility features several design innovations. Features include low-power LED lighting on the data center floor, ultrasonic humidifiers for climate control, high efficiency chillers, perimeter flooring using recycled car tires, and a huge rooftop array of solar panels that generate enough energy to power more than 4,000 average-size homes at the same time.

7. No Water? No Problem: Microsoft Dublin - Dublin Ireland (550,000 SF) / Via

Microsoft's data center in Dublin is a milestone in data center design. The facility powers much of Microsoft's cloud services while using far less energy and less than 1% of water typically used in other data centers. By running the server rooms at temperatures up to 95 degrees, outside air can be used to cool the thousands of servers on site, removing the need for chillers.

6. The Container Data Center: Microsoft Chicago - Chicago, IL (700,000 SF) / Via

This huge facility is a hybrid of present and future data center design, showcased on two levels. The lower level is a vast open space with high ceilings and parking spaces for double-stacked 40-foot shipping containers holding 2,000 servers each. This level alone requires enough cooling fluid to fill over 12 Olympic size pools! The second floor features traditional raised-floor data center space with enough room to support tens of thousands of additional servers. Amazingly, this site is run with just 45 workers.

5. Enough for U and Enough for Me: NGD Europe - Newport, Wales (750,000 SF) / Via

Originally constructed to house an LG semiconductor plant, the facility was vacated shortly after it was completed in 1998. Next Generation Data converted the site to a three-story data center facility with enough space to hold more than 19,000 cabinets of servers and storage. That equates to nearly 800,000 U spaces!

4. At Some Places, Lightning Doesn't Even Strike Once: NAP of the Americas - Miami, FL (750,000 SF) / Via

With over 183 networks converging at the NAP of the Americas, Terremark's flagship facility is a key connectivity hub for the Southeastern US and Latin America. Completed in 2001, NAP of the Americas is fortified to withstand a Category 5 hurricane, and utilizes a lightning prevention system that detracts lightning strikes at a radius of 300 feet. You could fit the largest telescope in the US (Green Bank Telescope) in this range.

3. A Data Center Touchdown: The SuperNAP - Las Vegas, NV (903,000 SF) / Via

Situated in the Las Vegas Valley is a group of 8 (soon to be 10) NAPs owned by Switch Communications. This data "campus" can hold more than 7,000 cabinets of servers and has the power capacity to light more than 12 Super Bowls at the same time. Two more SuperNAPs are currently under construction, and will increase the size of the facility to over 1.7 million square feet.

2. Data Your Way: QTS Metro Data Center - Atlanta, GA (970,000 SF) / Via

This was originally built by Sears in 1954 as the company's southeast distribution center. In 2006, it was acquired for telecom and data center use by Quality Technology Services. Supported by an on-site Georgia Power substation, this QTS data center has enough megawatts of power capacity for a small island. With its direct fiber access, the facility has plenty of future uses.

1. From CMYK to DATA: 350 East Cermak/Lakeside Technology Center - Chicago, IL (1,100,000 SF) / Via

Built in 1912, the R.R Donnelley Printing Plant ran printing operations for catalogs and phone books. In 1999, the name was changed and it was converted to a data center by Digital Realty. The building is supported by an 8.5 million gallon tank of cooling fluid, and three electric power feeds provide more than 100 megawatts of power. That's only slightly less energy than O'Hare International Airport, making it the second largest consumer of power in Chicago.