Largest Data Centers: Worthy Contenders

So who’s missing from our guide to the largest data centers? Our final list is shaped by our methodology. For this list, we’ve considered single-building facilities that are dedicated to data center use. We have not included multi-facility campuses or mixed-use buildings where data center space co-exists with large amounts of third-party office space (i.e. big-city carrier hotels). We also have not included facilities that are not yet open for business. Here are some additional mega-data centers that have been on our radar screen but didn’t make the final list.

Where is Google? Many readers may have expected to see some Google data centers on the list. But Google’s new construction has focused on data center campuses featuring multiple facilities, rather than single huge buildings. As a result, Google has multiple data center buildings larger than 300,000 feet, but none (that we can find, anyway) larger than the 400,000 SF entry point for our list. For more on Google’s data centers, see our Google Data Center FAQ.

Where is Apple? There has been intense interest in the 500,000 square foot iDataCenter that Apple is building in Maiden, North Carolina. It is one of several projects that are not included because they aren’t yet operational. Other in-the-works facilities with mega-data center scale include 3000 Skyline Dallas (700,000 square feet) and the NSA’s planned facility in Utah, which will total 1 million square feet (with just 100K SF of data center space).

Carrier Hotels:Many of the industry’s best known landmarks are carrier hotels, the huge connectivity hubs in major cities that bring together dozens (and sometimes hundreds) of networks and providers. They house large amounts of data center and telecom facilities, but typically also have office tenants. The most prominent of these include:

  • The Infomart, Dallas:This 1.2 million square foot technology hub was built by Trammell Crow in 1980, and  found a niche in the early 1990s when it began leasing space to telecom companies. Current tenants include SoftLayer, The Planet, Dataside and Switch and Data.
  • 111 8th Avenue, NYC: This carrier hotel was built in 1932 as the Port Authority Commerce Building, and is  the third-largest building in New York City with 2.8 million square feet of space. Google’s New York officeis located here along with many other large companies including MCI, Sprint, Level 3, Qwest, Switch and Data, Digital Realty Trust and Telx.
  • 60 Hudson Street, NYC: The former Western Union building has a lengthy history as a cornerstone in the development of America’s communications infrastructure. The 943,000 square foot facility is a major hub for telecom connections in Manhattan, housing major operations for Telx, FiberNet Telecom and Switch & Data.
  • One Wilshire: This Los Angeles carrier hotel is one of the best-known telecom buildings in the country, with more than half of the 665,000 square foot property occupied by communications companies including Verizon Communications, Savvis, Level 3, Global Crossing, Qwest Communications, Pac-West and Coresite.

Data Center Campuses: We haven’t included multiple-facility campuses, but there are any number that feature half a million SF or more of space. These include:

  • Google Lenoir: We don’t have exact sizes on most Google campuses, but site plans reviewed by North Carolina media indicate that the first two buildings in the company’s Lenoir, NC complex will total more than 500,000 square feet.
  • Equinix Ashburn:Colocation and interconnection specialist Equinix operates 500,000 square feet of space in five buildings on its Ashburn, Virginia campus. See The Internet’s Busiest Intersection for more.
  • DuPont Fabros, Ashburn:Right next door to Equinix, DFT has built more than 800,000 square feet of space, including its new ACC5 data center.
  • Digital Realty, Ashburn:Down the road a spell, Digital Realty has about 525,000 SF of space in four buildings on its Ashburn campus. See The Ashburn Building Boom Continues for more.
  • Digital Realty, Dallas: This seven-building, 70-acre “data center park” in Richardson could eventually span 800,000 square feet of data center space.

There are also two massive data center parks in the works in Lockerbie, Scotland. Lockerbie Data Centers plans 2.6 million square feet of space, while the competing Internet Villages International project hopes to build 3 million SF of data centres.

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