7 Crazy Cool Data Centers - InformationWeek
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2/9/2015
09:15 AM
Kelly Sheridan
Kelly Sheridan
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7 Crazy Cool Data Centers

Some data centers are built in modern buildings, and some are in old paper mills or Cold War defense bunkers.
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Google Data Center (Finland)  
Google chose a former paper mill for its excessive floor space and proximity to the Gulf of Finland. The Gulf provides a constant supply of frigid water, which is pumped through a tunnel before it's turned into fresh water. The fresh water is sent to cool the servers before being remixed and cooled once more to go back into the bay. This way, Google minimizes the environmental impact of warm water and avoids the need for refrigerants for cooling, reports Network World.

(Image source: Arch Daily)

Google Data Center (Finland)

Google chose a former paper mill for its excessive floor space and proximity to the Gulf of Finland. The Gulf provides a constant supply of frigid water, which is pumped through a tunnel before it's turned into fresh water. The fresh water is sent to cool the servers before being remixed and cooled once more to go back into the bay. This way, Google minimizes the environmental impact of warm water and avoids the need for refrigerants for cooling, reports Network World.

(Image source: Arch Daily)

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Brian.Dean
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Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
3/18/2015 | 5:37:43 AM
Re: Boston, too
@bttlk, well said "we are not running out" of oil in the short term. In the long term, in the time frame of 100-150 years, we are running out of oil and the closer we get to this time frame, the faster the economics begin to change. For instance, the returns in energy gained from shale oil are lower then, the energy gains from drilling.

However, there is nothing to worry about because, the IT sector through IoT devices that improve the efficiency of energy production, storage and consumption, and alternative energy sources such as, solar energy, etc., have already started to make a lot of progress. It is amazing to ponder about the level of specialization that these technologies might gain 100 years from now.
bttlk
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bttlk,
User Rank: Strategist
3/12/2015 | 11:50:02 PM
Re: Boston, too
There will always be oil to extract, or natural gas.  We are not running out. Less expensive power sources may become more viable, but thay may never be a reliable as oil or gas.
Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
2/10/2015 | 2:42:18 AM
Re: Boston, too
These data centers are like fortress and I do like them. For data centers, they need to be located in a secure and stable place with reliable infrastructure: electricity, ventilation, etc.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
2/10/2015 | 1:15:29 AM
Re: Boston, too
@Kelly: Indeed, one of the best parts was going up on the roof.  Below, tons of ACs, ventilators, and other caged equipment.  Above and in front of me, the Boston skyline.  Terrific view.
Joe Stanganelli
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50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
2/10/2015 | 1:14:12 AM
Re: Boston, too
I'm really surprised that geothermal power hasn't taken off more.  It certainly seems to be the most efficient of all the "clean" power techs (and with none of the problems of wind farms).  I remember seeing an article well over a decade ago about how geothermics was to be the next big thing.  I guess they were wrong...at least, for now.

Glad to see a datacenter taking advantage of this great energy technology!
Brian.Dean
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100%
Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
2/9/2015 | 5:06:21 PM
Re: Boston, too
Creating a low PUE value is always good news. It's good from the cost side of the equation, as well as the environmental impact side. Countries that are located in warmer (clear skies) regions of the world have a lot to offer as well, for instance, these countries could become a hub for the generation of clean energy, through the deployment of solar technologies.

Low oil prices at the moment have changed a lot of the price dynamics that solar energy offers. However, in the long terms solar energy is still extremely important because, eventually, there will be no oil left to extract.
Stratustician
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Stratustician,
User Rank: Ninja
2/9/2015 | 3:31:02 PM
Re: Boston, too
I love seeing how colder climate countries are taking advantage of their unique climate for data centres.  Personally i am waiting to see what countries like Iceland do: Geothermal power, plus cooler climates, much like their other Scandinavian neighbours (distant neighbours I guess), could see a great market opportunity for hosting next-generation data centres.
Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Strategist
2/9/2015 | 10:13:19 AM
Re: Boston, too
Thanks, Joe. I didn't know about the Markley Group's Boston datacenter - another creative use of old space, and sounds like a great tour!
Joe Stanganelli
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50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Author
2/9/2015 | 9:45:26 AM
Boston, too
Thanks for this overview, Kelly.  This is cool!

I was fortunate enough to tour the Markley Group's datacenter some time back in downtown Boston.  They use an old retail building, and because of their location, they are wired to the hilt in ultra-secure redundancies -- so outages aren't really an issue and security is very tight.  It was pretty cool seeing the connections directly into major municipal pipes in Boston.
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