Data Centers

Strangest locations for datacenters (photos)

Time to go deep underground for this next datacenter, into the caverns of a unused mine. The datacenter is situated 100 meters underground in a coal mine in the Chubu region of Honshu, Japan's main island.

When complete, the facility will total 30 shipping containers, each holding about 250 servers and with about 10,000 processor cores available, although that number could be expanded to 30,000.

Cooling is provided by groundwater and the 15C temperature underground dispenses with the need for air conditioning outside the containers.

The datacenter was set up in 2007 by a joint venture made up of Sun, now owned by Oracle, and 11 other companies.

The group estimates that it could save $9m a year on electricity costs by removing the need for water coolers.

The containers are strong enough to withstand earthquakes of 6.7 on the Richter scale. The picture above is not of the mine used for the Sun datacentre, but a coal mine tunnel in Pennsylvania.

Photo: zizzybaloobah

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Sonja Thompson started at TechRepublic in October 1999. She is a former Senior Editor at TechRepublic.

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