Which data centers are the world’s largest? Depends on who you ask. Well, sort of, anyway. In terms of sheer size, the list is fairly cut and dry, but it’s probably more relevant for businesses to have an idea of how data center space stacks up in the specific environment or locale in which they’re interested. Instead of pretending that size is the only thing that matters, it’s more useful to see how square footage relates to storage capacity, connectivity speed and cloud infrastructure – in a nutshell, to identify the largest data centers by category. In short, it’s like the Academy Awards … for large data center facilities.
Largest (Planned) Data Center
The most massive data center currently in construction is the Range International Information Hub, located in Langfang, China. Construction is now underway on the project, guided by IBM and China-based Range Internation Information Group, according to TechnoCrib. It’s currently on track for a 2016 completion date, and when construction is finished, the data center’s area will measure 6.2 million square feet, six times larger than any other data center in the world. It will cover some 331 acres and will be roughly the size of the Pentagon, one of the most sizable office buildings in the world. Metropolitan areas in northern China’s Hebei Province will be the beneficiaries of state-of-the-art colocation hosting and cloud services.
Largest Operational Data Center
While it “only” measures 2.2 million square feet, the Switch SuperNAP in Las Vegas, Nev., is certainly no slouch. It offers its thousands of clients the “world’s most advanced technology ecosystem,” according to TechnoCrib, and boasts SUPERNAP 8, a design platform that offers unrivaled capacity and data storage density.
“Switch is a complete technology engine and team driven toward one purpose: Developing an environment where clients experience the largest, highest density, most secure and energy-efficient data centers ever designed,” the company stated.
Largest Modular Data Center
While increased deployment mobility and user agility are primary advantages of using modular data centers, the facilities themselves can grow past their single standard shipping container origins and become rather large. IO, one of the leading providers of modular data centers, boasts the world’s largest modular option, an 830,000-square-foot facility located in a plant formerly occupied by The New York Times, according to the company’s website. IO New Jersey offers fiber optic connectivity, 100 megawatts of uninterruptible power supply and close proximity to the twin hot enterprise markets of New York and New Jersey.
Largest High-Rise Data Center
Speaking of New York, where space is at an absolute premium, some data center owners and operators have been expanding up instead of out. The largest high-rise data center in the globe, owned by Sabey Data Center Properties, is located at 375 Pearl Street in Manhattan, a location perhaps familiar to those in the telecom world as an old Verizon switching facility. It offers an area of 1 million square feet, according to Wall Street & Technology, and is part of Integrate.Manhattan, a public and private sector initiative aimed at making prime data center real estate available for organizations from financial services firms to health care providers to scientific researchers.