Our world is now made up of a series of connected data centers and server farms that operate like a central nervous system for our daily lives. They power the devices we run and keep all our data flowing freely. They’re big, complex and very abstract.
To help make them a little more understandable, we’ve put together some of our favorite interesting facts about servers, data storage and more.
Let’s start with one of our favorite questions: how many server farms are there in the world?
How Many Server Farms Are There in the World?
This year, we’re on track to reach 8.6 million data centers and server farms around the world. Most are small, but on average, newer server farms are becoming significantly larger and more powerful.
However, this interesting fact about servers leads to one of our favorite, but little-known, facts about servers: 8.6 million is a peak and we’re about to start seeing the number of server farms decrease.
While the number of farms declines, experts predict that datacenter space will continue to grow to more than 1.94 billion square feet by 2018. One of the most important facts about data storage is this: bigger keeps getting better.
You’d Probably Recognize the Oldest and Newest Servers
A funny but little-known fact about servers is that they all kind of look the same — especially if you strip away cosmetic add-ons that. Servers vary little from generation to generation and maintain many of the same core components, just with slight updates or changes in placement.
Servers have slowly gotten smaller, but they tend to look similar enough that you might be surprised by what’s a decade old and what isn’t. The biggest changes are internal, where equipment has made significant increases in data transfer rates and reductions in power consumption.
Loudoun County Touches Your Data
About 70% of the world’s internet traffic travels through Loudon County, Virginia. It’s earned the nickname “Data Center Alley” and is home to more than 60 different server farms covering more than 10 million square feet of space — currently, projects are in place to add another 3.5 million square feet.
All the income from the business and its employees generates about 7.2% if the county’s entire revenue.
Facebook Has a Data Center in the Arctic: Cold and Power
One of the more advanced data centers in the world is located near the Arctic Circle. Facebook built the Luleå data center in northern Sweden is sparse, cold, and incredibly smart. It’s able to use hydroelectric power to run servers, and the cold location means cooling systems make use of the air around the building.
The town of Luleå also offers an incredibly stable power source, which is a requirement for proper operation. We don’t often think about it, but server location can make all the difference in the world
Smart Systems Can Be Recycled
Around 80% of all of the equipment in a server and a data storage farm can be recycled. When companies focus on going green, the reclamation of their assets often is missed, but it’s something worth considering.
Recycling or selling your used server gear is one of the simplest ways for you to improve your “green” credibility, and the practice may allow you to get a jump on your competitors.
Memory Comes From a Separate OEM
Server manufacturers focus their efforts on servers and not auxiliary equipment. In our highly specialized world, this means even something as integral as memory often comes from an outside source. Custom server farm construction will also tend to use memory from non-server-OEMs because it can be significantly cheaper and have the same standards and warranties.
Data Storage Is Hard
Some 47% of enterprises say data growth and related storage is a top challenge because storage requirements are growing by about 40% each year. The world’s data will grow by 50X in the next decade.
An interesting fact about data storage is that now, most storage occurs in virtualized environments instead of traditional environments. This means many companies are moving from on-premise solutions to consolidated virtualized environments that offer data retrieval in a number of additional ways.
Data Is Getting More and More Expensive
Unless you’re in the space, here’s a little-known fact about data storage: your budget for data storage will always go up, even as we get more efficient with storage.
Currently, 40% of major enterprises are going to spend more on storage hardware each year, while almost 50% project that their spending will stay flat even if they reduce the number of services they offer. Storage capacity requirements grow at a rate of 15% to 25% each year.
These are just a few of our favorite facts, figures and surprises when it comes to data storage and server farms.
If we’ve missed your favorite, contact us and let us know what to add.