Data Center Design

Six extreme data centre locations

From the South Pole and nuclear bunkers to flotillas and particle accelerators, servers are everywhere… Here’s a few of the unusual places you can find data centres around the world.


Going underground

Underground data centres – both in naturally-occurring caves and man-made mines, are becoming increasingly common. Iron Mountain runs a 1.7 million square feet site in a former Limestone mine in western Pennsylvania, while SubTropolis is another Limestone-based site just outside Kansas City. In Asia, Sun Microsystems created a data centre within a 100 metre deep coal mine in the Chubu region on Japan's Honshu Island.

In Europe, the Lefdal mine data centre is a 1.3 million square foot space built from a site previously used to mine for the mineral Olivine. We talked to the site’s owners about the challenges of turning a mine within a mountain into prime hosting space.

Over the last few years, Iceland and Northern Europe have become a hotbed of naturally-cooled data centres that use the ice-cold Fjords to reduce their Carbon Footprint. However, sometimes the local geography can get a bit hot and filled with magma. Verne Global’s datacentre in Iceland makes use of the geothermic activity in the area, and it’s also volcano-proof.

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Dan Swinhoe

Dan is Senior Staff Writer at IDG Connect. Writes about all manner of tech from driverless cars, AI, and Green IT to Cloudy stuff, security, and IoT. Dislikes autoplay ads/videos and garbage written about 'milliennials'.  

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