Fun Facts About Data Centres

Data centres are a critical part of our digital infrastructure, responsible for storing, processing, and managing vast amounts of data. But while they may seem like serious, no-nonsense facilities, there are plenty of fun and interesting facts to be found within their walls. Here are some of the most fascinating:

  1. Data centres use a lot of energy – According to a 2017 estimate, data centres around the world use about 3% of the world’s electricity supply. This energy is necessary to power the servers, cooling systems, and other equipment required to keep data centres running 24/7.
  2. Some data centres use seawater for cooling – In locations near the ocean, some data centres have started using seawater for cooling instead of traditional air conditioning systems. This helps reduce energy consumption and is better for the environment.
  3. Data centres have their own special fire suppression systems – Because of the sensitive equipment housed within, data centres can’t use traditional water-based fire suppression systems. Instead, they often use specialized gases like FM200 or NOVEC-1230 to extinguish fires without damaging equipment.
  4. Data centres can get really cold – In order to keep servers from overheating, data centres need to be kept at a relatively low temperature. Some data centres are kept as cold as 45°F (7°C), which is colder than the average refrigerator!
  5. One data centre in Norway is built inside a mountain – The “Doomsday Vault” in Svalbard, Norway, is a secure facility built inside a mountain that stores seed samples from all over the world. But it’s not just for seeds – the facility also has a data centre that stores information about the seeds and their origins.
  6. The first data centre was built in 1946 – While modern data centres are incredibly complex and high-tech, the concept has been around for a long time. The first data centre was built by the US military in 1946 to store and process data related to the war effort.
  7. Data centres have a language of their own – From “hot aisles” to “rack units,” data centres have their own unique vocabulary. For example, a “hot aisle” is the space behind server racks where hot air is expelled, while a “rack unit” is a standard size used to measure server equipment.
  8. Data centres have to be incredibly secure – Because of the sensitive information stored within, data centres have to be heavily secured. This can include everything from biometric access controls to armed guards.
  9. Some data centres use robots to maintain servers – In some high-tech data centres, robots are used to perform routine maintenance tasks like swapping out hard drives or performing diagnostics.
  10. The largest data centre in the world is the Range International Information Group Data Center in Langfang, China – This massive facility covers over 6 million square feet and has a capacity of over 1 million servers.

Data centres may seem like serious and straightforward facilities, but they are also full of interesting and fun facts. From their unique vocabulary to their innovative use of cooling technology, data centres are fascinating places that play a critical role in our digital lives.