4 Shocking Things About Data Centers Most People Don’t Know About

image - Flickr / Steven Kreuzer
image – Flickr / Steven Kreuzer

Producer’s note: Someone on Quora asked: What are some mind-blowing facts about data centers? Here is one of the best answers that’s been pulled from the thread. Thank you to the team at Quora for making this happen!


I have been to data centers all over the world and I would say a good 75% of my work time is spent in one. Therefore, I must present a disclaimer: None of these facts are mind blowing to me anymore BUT they may be to you.

1. Data Center Security: Some co-locations are more secure that others. I have been to some where to most advanced security that exists is a simple card scanner. Others, including one which I have been building out over the last month have biometric readers, card scanners, lockboxes containing a key to unlock your “cage”, oh..and fully armed security. I mean these guys pack some serious heat. Oh and I haven’t even mentioned actual data security.

2. DC Building Construction: Some data centers, especially modern ones are built to withstand 200+mph (321 kph) winds, 9.0 earthquakes, and sustained external fire. Here is a solid piece of advice: In case of zombie apocalypse, get to a data center.

3. Water Cooling: Not so mind blowing here but certainly ironic. Most data centers use water cooling. WATER to cool a giant room full of electronics. :)

4. Data Center Capabilities: Large diesel or natural gas tanks to feed generators for months without external utilities, incredibly secure walls/barricades/razor wire fencing/bulletproof doors (see zombie comment above), and immense data capabilities. I had the opportunity to connect directly to an ISP router and test my internet bandwidth. It was the only time that the connection speed was faster than my ethernet port could handle.

I don’t want to steal anyone’s pictures without their permission so I will link you a great example of a high security data center. My personal favorite is Switch Las Vegas. These guys are professional, armed, and awesome. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

This comment originally appeared at Quora.

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