The Largest Data Center in the USA and Why It’s So Important
Introduction: The Importance of a Data Center
Data centers are a critical component of any company’s IT infrastructure. They store data, provide access to it and ensure that it is available to clients.
Data centers are the backbone of the internet. They are a collection of computer servers and other hardware that stores, processes, and transmits data.
Data centers are an important part of our society because they store and process data which is crucial for our day-to-day lives. The information we see on our screens, the information we use to make decisions, and the information that is used to power our homes is all stored in a data center somewhere.
How a Data Center Works & What it Looks Like Inside?
The data center is the building where all the servers and other equipment that store, process, and transmit data are located.
A data center can be a room, a building or an entire campus.
The size of a data center depends on the size of the company and how much equipment it needs to store and process.
Data centers can be large buildings with many floors or they can be small rooms with just one server in them.
There are two types of data centers: those that use air cooling for their servers and those that use water cooling for their servers.
What is a data center?
Data centers are facilities that store, process and provide access to electronic data.
The data center is the most critical part of any company’s IT infrastructure. It is the point of connection between all the devices in an organization. Data centers have a number of functions including storage, backup, networking and security.
There are two main types of data centers: private and public. Private data centers are used by a single company or organization while public ones are shared by many organizations.
Data Centers are centralized repositories for all of an organization’s information. They serve as a “bank” for data, including servers & networking gear that store, process, and distribute huge volumes of information to clients. Data Centers can also offer a variety of services such as data warehousing and data insight.
Over the course of the next five years, research predicts that data centers will continue to fall by 1.75% due to an increase in bare metal servers, leading to a decrease of 2 million data centers by 2023. This number is still higher despite the decline due to an increase in virtualization and security methods.
While many people are fleeing to cheaper, cloud-based storage, corporate companies are building more data centers. This can be seen as a Catch 22 situation where one company’s loss is the other’s gain.
On-Premise Data Center
An on-premise data center is typically a company’s data storage solution. It is located near or in headquarters and contains all the company’s data.
Cloud Vs Data Center
In comparison to data centers, cloud servers are far more inexpensive and practical. Cloud servers are data centers that house data for multiple businesses under one roof. They also provide a variety of software services to businesses, such as office suites and applications.
This enables businesses to go from a Capital Expenses (CapEx) to an Operational Expenses (OpEx) model. As a result, they don’t have to bother about maintaining, repairing, or upgrading the equipment.
What Is A Hyperscale Data Center?
As the internet of things and artificial intelligence continue to grow, hyperscale data centers are becoming more and more important. They are the backbone of the internet.
Hyperscale data centers are large-scale computing centers that are used for storing, processing, and distributing information. These data centers store a huge amount of information and power many different websites on the internet.
Hyperscale data center refers to the 100,000 sq ft facilities that provides online storage and apps. Corporations with headquarters in the US like Amazon, Google, or Microsoft are examples of companies that operate them.
Selecting The Right Data Center
Deciding on the right data center provider can be quite a daunting task for the uninitiated.
Location: Having our data center close by means you are more likely to receive a better service. It every ounce as good of an advantage for you, if not better, than cost savings you could make by placing it far away. The distance between your data center and the location of your server can impact the data speeds and affect how quickly something loads for you.
Reliability: You should make sure that you find out the in-case of emergencies value of redundant systems, such as backup generators or UPS devices. This could be in case of bad weather or power outages, etc. You also want to ensure proper ventilation and cooling work well.
Security: Installing the right security features in your data center is important. If you don’t, cyber-attacks and breaches can happen which could put your company at risk and cost millions of dollars.
Network Capacity: This can be measured scientifically using statistics such as network reliability, speed, and security protocols, among other things. You should make sure they have enough space and power to satisfy your requirements. You could also consider server collocation, in which you share a local facility with others. The data center operator maintains the security systems while you rent the space and pay for the power.
Scalability and Flexibility: If you run a business then it’s important to find the right data center for your needs. A rigid, inflexible provider may not be the best choice if you want to grow over time.
Emergency Systems: Great data centers identify all the possible points of failure and prepare for emergencies to deal with them. With precautions against natural disasters, cyber-attacks, or power outages, you can keep your company’s data safe in any situation.
So, they will have emergency power, back-up generators, fire suppression systems and other safety features.
A data center typically has raised floors with raised floor panels to distribute cooling air beneath the flooring.
There are different levels of security for data centers:
– Tier 1: The most secure level of data centers. These facilities have redundant power supplies and cooling systems, which means they can continue to operate even if one system goes down or becomes inoperable.
– Tier 2: These facilities have backup power and cooling systems but not to the same extent as Tier 1 facilities.
– Tier 3: Tier 3 data centers are more expensive to build and maintain than Tier 1 and 2 data centers. They are usually used for big enterprise customers. The reason is that they offer a higher level of security, redundancy, and disaster recovery capabilities.
The Largest Data Centers in the USA 2023
- Digital Realty- Lakeside – 1.1 Million square feet
- NSA- Bumblehive – 1.1 Million square feet
- QTS Metro- Atlanta, GA – 970,000 square feet
- IO New Jersey- Edison, NJ – 830,000 square feet
- Terremark Worldwide- Miami, FL – 750,000 square feet
- Microsoft- Chicago, IL – 700,000 square feet
- IO- Phoenix, AZ – 538,000 square feet
- Apple- Maiden, NC – 500,000 square feet
- Microsoft- Quincy, WA – 470,000 square feet
- DuPont Fabros- Ashburn, VA – 416,209 square feet
1: Digital Realty- Lakeside
1.1 Million square feet
The Lakeside Technology Center, which spans 1.1 million square feet and is located in Chicago, shares the top rank on the list of the largest data centers in the United States. The former yellow pages printing press, which was converted into a telecommunications company in 1999, currently houses over 50 generators and an 8.5 million gallon water tank that is utilized to power and cool the building.
2: NSA- Bumblehive
1.1 Million square feet
With 1.1 million square feet of space available, the NSA Bluffdale data center shares the top rank in the Americas for largest data centers. Technical support and administrative space take up 900,000 square feet of the facility, while the rest is used for actual data center space.
The data center’s stated purpose is to track “all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and internet searches, as well as all types of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital ‘pocket litter,'” according to the report. The data center became recognized as “the icon of the intelligence agency’s surveillance expertise” as a result of this type of information.
3: QTS Metro- Atlanta, GA
970,000 square feet
The QTS Atlanta Metro center stands at 970,000 square feet and features its own on-site Georgia Power substation. Direct fiber access is available, of course, to allow for steady power and fast data transfer speeds. The massive facility also provides 530,000 square feet of data center space with plenty of room for future expansion.
4: IO New Jersey- Edison, NJ
830,000 square feet
With an area of 830,000 square feet, the former New York Times printing press has been turned into the largest modular data center in the Americas. The data center can be operational immediately after completion thanks to its modular technology. i/o New Jersey is positioned near to a huge power switching station and has in-place fiber optic access from two of the world’s largest IP backbones, which is one of the data center’s biggest advantages.
5: Terremark Worldwide- Miami, FL
750,000 square feet
The NAP of the Americas data center, which is located in Miami, has a total data center footprint of 750,000 square feet and has been in service since 2001. The six-story structure was designed to withstand a hurricane and has since become a networking center for the Southeast and Latin America.
At the building, more than 160 networks intersect, forming a massive connectivity ecosystem. Two 16-meter satellite dishes and a 14-meter dish are housed in the three enormous globes on the roof of the facility to offer backup connection for mission-critical clients if the facility’s fiber feeds are ever lost.
6: Microsoft- Chicago, IL
700,000 square feet
With its 700,000 square foot center that doesn’t exactly suit the conventional design of these data centers, the new Microsoft data center in Chicago takes the 6th slot on our list. The building’s first level is designed to hold 40-foot storage containers crammed with web servers. The complex’s second story contains standard raised-floor data space.
7: IO- Phoenix, AZ
538,000 square feet
The 7th place finisher on our list, i/o Phoenix, with its 538,000 square foot building, houses not just a data center but also the company’s primary offices. The data center’s size isn’t its sole selling point; its biggest novelty is its rooftop solar panels, which can provide the data center with up to 4.5 megawatts of energy.
8: Apple- Maiden, NC
500,000 square feet
Apple’s Maiden, North Carolina data center, which ranks eighth on the list, is the largest of Apple’s data centers, spanning 500,000 square feet. Between 95,000 and 120,000 web servers are expected to be housed in the data center. The facility is likely to aid in the completion of the iCloud puzzle’s missing component.
9: Microsoft- Quincy, WA
470,000 square feet
Microsoft Quincy was ranked 9th and is 470,000 square feet. The data center houses the equipment powering Microsoft’s new Windows Azure cloud developer platform. It can store 3.7 trillion photos too.”
10: DuPont Fabros- Ashburn, VA
416,209 square feet
The Loudoun Metro Data Center in Ashburn, Virginia, will be the tenth location on our list, spanning 416,209 square feet and operated by DuPont Fabros, adding to their half-dozen operations in the area. This will be the largest data center complex in the area, and it will boost the productivity of other data centers in the area.