Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

When the new economy eats the old, infrastructure is put to creative re-use

The irony is rich: Phoenix-based i/o Data Centers has taken over a printing plant once owned by the New York Times, turning it into the world’s largest modular data center, suitable for anything from serving web pages to running private cloud computing environments. The formerly state of the art plant was built in 1992, a year after HTML and the web were invented but remained relatively unknown. It was an era when newspapers were cash machines and some towns had two. The plant was decommissioned in 2008.

The facility has its own electrical substation, with 30 megawatts of dedicated power, expandable up to 100 megawatts. i/o Data Centers says it already has enterprise clients lined up, and that its brand new Edison, NJ facility is available for everything from colocation to private clouds.

It’s not the biggest data center in the world, however. (It’s merely the largest modular one, which means it’s comprised of drop-in modules of the sort last seen in Google’s data centers.)

While it’s not clear how much of the facility is given over to servers, the 1.4 million square foot Tokyo data center handily bests the New Jersey facility in terms of sheer mass. Images of it taken from space speak for themselves:

Satellite view of the 1.4 million square foot Tokyo Data Center

For the largest data center in the U.S., you’d have to journey to Chicago, where the fortress-like Lakeside Technology center towers near the body of water from which it draws its name. It’s a strangely brick-and-mortar, vaguely art deco building, as data centers go, and no wonder: it too, used to house the printing plant for, among other things, the Sears Catalog.

Follow Mims on Twitter or contact him via email.

2 comments. Share your thoughts »

Tagged: Web, data centers

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me
×

A Place of Inspiration

Understand the technologies that are changing business and driving the new global economy.

September 23-25, 2014
Register »