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The World’s Most Unusual and Unique Data Centers

When we think of data centers, concepts like security and performance often take precedence. However, there’s a collection of extraordinary data centers globally, redefining standards in sustainability, security, and innovative architecture.

Here are eight remarkable data centers with either unique designs or unconventional locations.

Green Mountain, SVG1-Rennesøy, Norway

Image courtesy of Green Mountain

Green Mountain’s SVG1 data center, formerly known as DC1-Stavanger, resides in Rennesøy, Norway. What sets this facility apart is its transformation inside a mountain. CEO Svein Atle Hagaseth describes it as a 22,600 sq.m colocation data center comprising six mountain halls, offering unparalleled security against both nuclear bomb attacks and natural disasters. Its sustainability is equally remarkable, powered by 100% renewable hydropower and utilizing the adjacent fjord for cooling.

Microsoft, Project Natick, Scotland

Microsoft’s Project Natick, submerged 117ft underwater off Scotland’s Orkney Islands, explores the feasibility of underwater data centers powered by locally produced renewable energy. This innovative initiative showcases a promising future for sustainable and secure underwater data infrastructure.

Pionen White Mountain, Sweden

Public Domain

Pionen White Mountain, situated 100ft underground in Stockholm, Sweden, was initially a civil defense facility repurposed by Bahnhof into a futuristic data center. Designed to withstand extreme conditions, it features amenities like simulated daylight and a saltwater fish tank.

Nautilus Data Technologies

Nautilus Data Technologies revolutionizes cooling by pioneering waterborne data centers, placing them on bodies of water to leverage water’s cooling properties for enhanced energy efficiency.

Google Hamina Data Center, Finland

Image courtesy of Google

Google’s Hamina data center, situated among the fjords in the Gulf of Finland, utilizes seawater for cooling, minimizing local water consumption. Its sustainable approach aligns with Google’s commitment to reducing climate impact.

Iron Mountain’s WPA-1 Data Center, Pennsylvania

Iron Mountain’s WPA-1 facility, nestled 220ft underground in a former limestone mine, combines top-tier security with sustainable cooling via an underground lake. Notably, it’s North America’s first BREEAM-certified data center.

Barcelona Supercomputing Center, Spain

Image courtesy of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center

Barcelona Supercomputing Center, housed in the Torre Girona Chapel, blends traditional architecture with cutting-edge technology, showcasing a heavenly match of old and new.

Equinix MI1, Miami

Equinix MI1 in Miami stands resilient against extreme weather, designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane. Equinix’s innovative approach prioritizes efficiency and reliability.

Paving the Way for More Unique Data Centers

As demands for security and sustainability rise, the data center industry continues to evolve. Repurposing structures, exploring new environments, and innovating cooling solutions signal ongoing advancements in this field.