Most people are aware that data centers are what make their internet-based activities possible. However, many of them — even those who work in data centers or IT — might not stop to think about some of the things that make data centers such outstanding facilities.
Here are six facts that highlight why data centers are so interesting.
According to a 2018 report from AFCOM, 42 percent of respondents said they had already deployed a green energy solution in their data centers or were planning to do so over the next year. Of those polled who had already rolled out an eco-friendly energy option, solar was the most widely adopted option, with 83 percent of people noting they use it in their facilities.
These findings are substantial because they indicate a growing knowledge that operating data centers responsibly — by emphasizing sustainability — is crucial. It could help data centers reduce operating costs, and such efforts are also appealing to members of the public that want to know major companies like Facebook and Google are doing their parts to protect the planet.
The rise of cloud computing and the distinctive tech demands of mobile applications are two of the things making data centers bigger than ever. As a case in point, data from the end of 2017 found there were nearly 400 hyperscale data centers in the world. It's not uncommon for those to have tens of thousands of servers in each location.
The International Data Corp., a market intelligence firm, defines a facility as hyperscale if it has at least 5,000 servers and a total size of no less than 10,000 square feet.
To get an idea of how large some hyperscale data centers are, people should consider that a Google data center in Lenoir, North Carolina, is so large it's the equivalent of more than eight football fields. Google didn't publish the precise size dimensions, but media coverage indicates it's at least 500,000 square feet. Also, Google invested $1.2 billion in building the data center.
Data center managers understandably wonder if some of the things they do to cut down on energy usage will have noticeable payoffs. Statistics from the U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy indicate that every kilowatt saved with equipment enhancements could double the total kilowatts saved in a data center.
Those who oversee a data center could potentially see even more significant savings, especially if they take the time to find out the most up-to-date, practical solutions.
When it comes to places around the world with the most data center dominance by numbers, California and London reign supreme. California has just over 300 locations. The largest multitenant data center in that West Coast state belongs to RagingWires, which owns a facility spanning over 680,000 square feet.
London is another data center hotspot, with 337 facilities. Overall, the United Kingdom is a key player in European regions or countries comprising the data center market. It has 411 of the 2,148 data centers on the continent.
According to a detailed report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Technology Engagement Center, a data center being built in a community typically results in 1,688 new jobs for people involved in the construction process, generating $77.7 million in total earnings for those workers. Every year a data center operates, it brings about 157 more local jobs paying $7.8 million in wages.
That same report found the construction phase for a data center is usually 18-24 months. That means the creation of a data center brings an immediate and prolonged boost to employment opportunities.
It's also essential to realize many of the most massive data centers may be prolific enough to attract out-of-state job candidates. Those people further stimulate the local economy by moving to the city housing the facility.
This list gives an overview of some of the most amazing things about data centers.
As those facilities become more advanced, they will undoubtedly keep people wondering what the next great ones will offer and how they might set records for size, functionality or other characteristics.
Kayla Matthews writes about data centers and big data for several industry publications, including The Data Center Journal, Data Center Frontier and insideBIGDATA. To read more posts from Kayla, you can follower her personal tech blog at ProductivityBytes.com.