On the 3rd of September 2014, the world came to an end…for all of 20 minutes.


Facebook was shut down due to an issue with an infrastructure configuration in its data centres, and its 1.23 billion users were cut off from their friends and networks of contacts.

The reaction across the web to Facebook being down for 20 minutes shows how critical a role data centres play in our day-to-day lives…particularly with the vast amount of fast file transfer interactions happening each second. And to celebrate this role, this blog post will look at 5 of the top data centres in the world.

#1 The SuperNAP, (Switch Communications)

Built in the spring of 2008, the SuperNAP data centre in Las Vegas occupies 407,000 square feet with the ability to accommodate 7,000 cabinets with 250 megawatts of power capacity. Its most notable feature is its ability to support power densities of up to 1,500 watts per square foot. Not only that, but the SuperNAP has a custom-built feature called a WDMD (Wattage Density Modular Design). This is a cooling unit that can automatically switch between four different cooling options, enabling it to deliver the most efficient cooling for each specific condition.

#2 Phoenix ONE (i/o Data Centres)

This 538,000 square foot facility – in Phoenix, Arizona – houses the data centre and corporate headquarters of i/o Data Centres. Phoenix ONE has an enormous rooftop array of solar panels that can generate as much as 4.5 megawatts of power for the data centre. It also has a thermal storage system that allows i/o Data Centres to run chillers for its cooling systems at night when power rates are lower.

#3 Microsoft’s Dublin Data Centre (Microsoft)

Occupying 550,000 square feet, the Dublin Data Centre is a landmark in data centre design. This facility is designed to power much of Microsoft’s global cloud computing operation, whilst using far less energy and water than other data centres of a similar scale.

#4 Next Generation Data Europe (NGD)

This 750,000 square foot facility in Newport, Wales is the new data home of BT and Logica. It is a three-story data centre with the capacity for more than 19,000 cabinets of servers and storage.

#5 Lakeside Technology Centre (Digital Realty Trust)

Covering 1.1 million square feet, the Lakeside Technology Centre is officially the world’s largest data centre. Owned by Digital Realty Trust, it is the nerve centre for Chicago’s commodity markets, housing data centres and handling numerous fast file transfers for financial firms from around the world. Its infrastructure includes four fibre vaults and three electric power feeds, which provide the building with more than 100 megawatts of power. And as well as power from the grid, the Lakeside Technology Centre is supported by 50 generators throughout the building, fuelled by multiple 30,000 gallon tanks of diesel fuel.

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Read More: The Tug-of-War Over Your Data: How the CLOUD and SHIELD Acts Pit Security vs. Privacy