Data Centers of the Future

A Look at Some State of the Art Data Centers

 

Data Centers

Photo by Sean Ellis / Flickr

 

In the very early days of the Internet most servers were stored and cared for at Universities or government installations. Today, however, a whole industry has blossomed with people running data centers and server farms for individuals and companies.

 

Even in the last few years, a lot of innovation has taken place. While some - like Google - are secretive about their processes and networking abilities, other companies - like Facebook - are starting to share everything they've learned about server farms with the rest of the world. And this is a good thing.

 

High Tech Data Centers of the Future

Here's a look at some of the high tech data centers that are in operation today.

Google's Floating Data Center

Back in 2008 Google filed a patent for a boat that used waves to generate power and help keep computers cool while they roamed the high seas. Not much has been said about this since the original patent was filed, but there's a good chance Google is working on this and other ideas as well. Handling so much Internet traffic on a daily basis is not easy, but Google has come a long way from their first server farms back in the 20th century.

Facebook's Arctic Circle Data Center

This cost a cool $300 million, but to Facebook - the world's largest social network - it was money well spent. Because of the location of the installation, it was a lot easier to keep all the computer equipment cool and working at optimum temperatures. As mentioned, Facebook has been doing better with sharing what they learn with others. This is sure to spur even more advancement in the years to come.

General Motors

Believe it or not, this old school corporation (that needed a bailout from the government) has just invested about $130 million into their own state of the art data center in Michigan. While probably not as advanced as those owned by Google or Facebook, the set-up is pretty impressive by most standards. One of the reasons GM went bankrupt is that about 90% of their IT was outsourced. After 2009 when this was brought back in-house (for the most part) things began to get better.

As you can see from the short list above, data centers have come a long way over the years, especially the last decade. Will there be a server farm in orbit around the Earth someday? Who knows for sure, but it's definitely a possibility. With the billions that Google, Facebook, Amazon and other large corporations are making, the sky is NOT the limit.

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