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10 Biggest Data Centers in the World

Biggest Data Centers

The World’s Largest Data Centers

This article analyses the facts and statistics around data centers.

In terms of electricity consumption, a large data center can use as much electricity as a small town. They have small containers loaded with thousands of servers each. With respect to their power density, it is over 100 times that of an office complex.

Characteristics of Data Centers
• 14% of the carbon foot print of the global IT sector is accounted for by data center.
• They store large amounts of data.
• As at 2011, about 35% of companies were expected to surpass the IT capacity in 18 months.
• The average age of modern data centers is 9 years old, any data center older than 7 years is considered outdated.

The World’s Largest Data Centers

• Digital Technologies, Chicago: This center is about 1.1 million square feet in size and was converted to telecom use in 1999. It is supported by over 50 generators and requires over 8.5 million gallons of coolant.

• Quality Technology, Atlanta: This sits on a 900,000 square Feet space. It was developed in 1954 and converted to telecom use in year 2000. It has an 80 megawatt power capacity with plans to expand estimated at $150 million.

• Terremark, Miami: This sits on a 750,000 square foot property. It was built in 2001 and it is a center for over 160 networks.

• Microsoft, Chicago: This sits on a 700,000 square foot property. It was converted for telecoms use on 1999, it has 40-foot containers, housing 2000 servers each and has a total capacity of 224,000 servers on the whole.

• Microsoft, Dublin: This is located on a 550,000 sq ft. property, this center is not cooled by cooling towers, it uses less than 1% of water as used by other places.

• i/o Data Centers, Phoenix: It rests on a 538,000 square foot. It is powered by solar panels, generating up to 4.5 megawatts of power.

• Dupont Fabros, Illinois: This is located on a 485,000 square foot land space, it is supported by 32.2 megawatt diesel powered generators.

• Microsoft Washington and San Antonio: This is located on a 470,000 square foot property, it is powered by hydroelectric power. It depends on 8 million gallons of recycled water each month for cooling.

• Switch Communications, Las Vegas: This is located on a 407,000 square foot land space. It was built in 2008 and has the capacity to house 7,000 cabinet of servers. It has a 250 megawatt capacity and power densities up to 1,500 watt per square foot.


Google has data centers in 13 locations scattered around the globe. They are estimated to have over 900,000 servers around the globe. The data centers makes use of about 0.01% of global energy. Statistics revealed that in 2011, data centers belonging to Google made use of enough electricity, sufficient to continuously power 200,000 homes.


Facebook, one of the most popular online social network is estimated to have over 1 billion users. Every day, Facebook servers processes 2.4 billion pieces of content of 500 terabyte of data every day. 8 kilowatts of power is used by a standard storage rack. Over 100 petabytes of data is stored by Facebook and over 7 petabytes of storage is used for photos every month. 8% of photos accounts for about 82% of the time spent looking at photos.

In 2012, a 62,000 square foot data center was built by Facebook in Pineville to house 500 racks of servers. Each storing 2 terabyte of data and each rack uses only 2 kilowatt of power.


Amazon is estimated to have about 450,000 servers located in 7 locations around the world. In 2008, it spent about 86 million on servers, storing over 40 billion objects. About 40,000 servers are dedicated to amazon web services. Pinterest runs on AWS, having over 17 million unique visitors every month. PBS makes use of AWS, streaming videos for about 30 million users each month, amounting to 40 petabyte of videos per month.


Microsoft is known as one of the largest software companies in the world. This is as a result of its 1 billion users. This company runs over 500,000 servers and it has spent over $15 billion on its data centers. Its first data center was built in 1989 on an 89,000 square foot property. In 2006, the company designed its own 500,000 square foot data center for the first time ever and it is building a $112 million data center in 2013.

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