Age of giants: The largest data center in the world

largest data center in the world

It comes as no surprise that data is everything nowadays.

With the world’s shift towards cloud-based technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), and the general trajectory of digital-first solutions for business and IoT-enabled smart cities, the need for speedy and sustainable data flow is paramount.

As we know, data must be physically stored somewhere, and that somewhere is servers. That is where data centers come in. Technically anything can be a data center if you stuff a server into it. Your closet, under your bed, or your bathroom – though not advised.

To store the endless terabits of data zipping about, from our Zoom calls, cloud storage servers, and infinite hours of cat videos, you need something equally as massive.

Enter Citadel campus.

The saying goes that everything in the U.S. is supersized, from the snacks and drinks to the people themselves as a result.

Well, whatever the stereotype may be, they win the prize for the largest data center in the world as well.

Though China wins in terms of quantity, housing the two other biggest data centers in the world, but we are looking at the top one here.

The entire campus stands at a whopping 17.4 million square feet, or just over 226 football stadiums, or around 69,600,000 newborn kittens if you are so inclined. Metric system be damned.

Point is its big. Very big.

The largest warehouse within this campus tops at 1.3 million square feet, breaking the company’s own record with the second largest reaching around 1.1.

So, how does this massive structure, which consumes over 850 megawatts of energy and runs year-round, support its energy needs?

It may come as a shock is that the largest data center in the world runs on 100 percent sustainable energy.

Being situated in a location that is as hot and sunny as it is windy might be repulsive for a human being, but it does house the ideal conditions for solar and wind power, and overall makes for a more consistent and sustainable power supply. A data center is one thing you do not want to have a power outage, especially with many businesses moving online for a lot of their dealings.

The Citadel Campus is built and owned by Switch, a company that develops and operates data centers based in Las Vegas.

The campus is capable of supplying its tributary cities, San Diego and Los Angeles, with seven-millisecond latency, and boasts over 260 patented technologies, making it among the most innovative service providers.

If the world is to sustain its endless growth and technological advancement that powers it, we can confidently say that these data centers will only get bigger. Currently the largest data center in the world may look like an outhouse compared to what is to come, but only time can tell.