The exterior of the Hosting.com data center in Denver, which once served as a manufacturing plant for Ford Model T trucks.

A Data Center in a Former Model T Plant

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The exterior of the Hosting.com data center in Denver, which once served as a manufacturing plant for Ford Model T trucks.

Many data centers are located in former factories and industrial facilities, owing to the sturdy power infrastructure installed at these old buildings. Here’s a particularly interesting example of the new economy operating in the footprint of the old: Hosting.com has retrofitted a former Model T factory in Denver to house a 30,000 square foot data center.

The building in the South Broadway section of Denver was initially used by Ford to manufacture Model T trucks. In 1945 the site was purchased by Gates Rubber, which employed as many as 5,000 workers in its sprawling Denver campus before halting manufacturing in 1995 (see this link for more history on the neighborhood). The former Gates property has since been redeveloped, and in 2009 Hosting.com leased part of the building to house office space and a data center.

With 14 megawatts of installed power capacity and sturdy floors that can support heavy racks of equipment, the old Ford plant proved ideal for Hosting.com’s needs. In this video, Hosting.com chief operating officer Joel Daly and Denver data center general manager Mike Fontaine provide a walk-through of the Denver data center. This video runs about 6 minutes, 30 seconds.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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