Data Center Frontier | By Rich Miller – NOVEMBER 23, 2015
Today we provide a look inside the Top 10 Cloud Campuses, the places where the cloud resides. Cloud campuses is our term for the sites where technology titans concentrate massive amounts of computing power in multiple data center facilities. These huge campuses are where the cloud lives – the physical manifestation of the Internet, often located in rural areas offering cheap land and power. Data center hubs enable companies to rapidly add server capacity and electric power, creating economies of scale as more workloads migrate into these massive server farms.
As cloud computing gains momentum – driven by social networks, Big Data and the Internet of Things – the scale of these facilities will grow ever larger. It has become routine for companies like Apple, Google, Facebook and Microsoft to invest more than $1 billion in a single location where they place a cloud campus. So here’s a look at our take on the Top 10 Cloud Campuses:
# 1. Switch SUPERNAP Campus (Las Vegas) – High-density racks of servers inside the Switch SUPERNAP
Nobody builds bigger than Switch, the creator of the massive SUPERNAP campus in Las Vegas. The original SUPERNAP was a pioneer in hyperscale computing, spanning more than 400,000 square feet and featuring the design vision of Switch founder Rob Roy. Innovations in airflow containment and multi-mode cooling helped establish the SUPERNAP as a leading destination for high-density computing, supporting workloads up to 1,500 watts per square foot. Switch has added two more huge SUPERNAP buildings, expanding the campus to more than 1.4 million square feet of data center capacity. At full build-out, the Vegas campus will support 280 megawatts of IT capacity. Although its primary business is colocation, Switch has become an increasingly important player in cloud computing, with more than 120 cloud or managed service providers as customers. Even bigger cloud campuses lie ahead. Switch has announced plans for a 2 million square foot campus near Grand Rapids, Michigan and a 6.4 million SF development in Reno that will be the world’s largest data center campus.
# 2. Google (Council Bluffs, Iowa) – Google Iowa data center
Google has been the first mover and leading innovator in hyperscale computing, building a series of data center campuses around the world to support its massive Internet business, which now spans search, advertising, cloud computing and a growing constellation of emerging technologies. The company now spends more than $2 billion every quarter on its data center infrastructure, and the largest chunk of that spending has been focused on a former field in Iowa that is being developed into one of the world’s most massive cloud campuses. Google plans to spend more than $1.5 billion to build Internet infrastructure in Council Bluffs, a city of 62,000 nested along the Missouri River, across the river from Omaha, Nebraska. Google’s selection of Council Bluffs has sparked a data center boom in Iowa, where Facebook and Microsoft are also building huge cloud campuses. Greenpeace estimates that Google has deployed 105 megawatts of capacity in Council Bluffs.
# 3. Microsoft (Boydton, Va.) – Microsoft-Boydton
Most of Virginia’s major cloud campuses are focused on the data center cluster around Ashburn in Loudoun County. Microsoft has plenty of servers in Ashburn, but even more in a hyperscale cloud campus in Boydton, a tiny town of about 400 residents near the North Carolina border. Microsoft has been rapidly expanding its cloud capacity around the world, and its southern Virginia campus is a showcase for the company’s data center design, which allows it to expand in phases. The Boydton facility features the use of a container-based design known as an IT-PAC (short for Pre-Assembled Component), the centerpiece of a modular, component-based design that offers cost-cutting opportunities at almost every facet of the design. The modules operate in all environments, and cool servers with fresh air that enters through louvers in the side of the container – which effectively functions as a huge air handler with racks of servers inside. Microsoft started work on the southern Virginia campus in 2011, and has since announced four expansions, with a total investment at the site of $1.7 billion.
# 4. Facebook (Prineville, Ore.) – Facebook servers in Prineville data center
On the high plains of central Oregon, a revolution has begun in open source hardware. The Facebook data center campus in Prineville was the genesis of the Open Compute Project, in which Facebook designed custom server, storage and data center designs and freely shared them with the world. The Open Compute movement has been a disruptive event in the server world, where cloud designs grab a growing share of the market. But Prineville (Pop. 10,000) is also the cornerstone of Facebook’s global Internet infrastructure, which supports more than 1.5 billion users. The campus in Prineville features two huge data centers, each more than 300,000 square feet in size, as well as several of the company’s “cold storage” facilities for long-term backup of lightly accessed photos. Facebook recently announced plans for a third major data center in Prineville, which will be its largest yet at 487,000 square feet. The Facebook cloud campus has been a boon to the local economy, as the company has invested more than $780 million at the site and attracted other tech companies to the region – including Apple, which is building a cloud campus of its own just up the road.
Check out the complete list of 10 and original article HERE.