Ever Wondered, What Exactly is the Cloud?

The 'Cloud' aka 'Big Data' aka the 'Internet of Things' has a home. Several homes in fact, and some reside right here in your backyard. 

High heat loads and the challenges of keeping data centers operational is a complex operation, but Boland has the expertise and products to keep these companies reaching further. Let's take a look at the companies that rank in the top 10.

Excerpt taken from Data Center Frontier website by Rich Miller.

Amazon (Ashburn, Va.)
As the largest player in public cloud computing, you’d expect Amazon to make our list. Indeed, Amazon has a large armada of cloud server farms, distributed in data center clusters . These clusters are spread across multiple smaller sites rather than a single huge campus, so Amazon doesn’t rank as high as it otherwise might. This approach is driven by Amazon’s use of Availability Zones, which allow customers to run instances in several locations to avoid a single point of failure. Availability Zones must reside in separate data centers that are isolated from one another, but close enough for low-latency network connections. The largest of these clusters is the US-East region, which spans more than 20 data centers in Northern Virginia, spread across Sterling, Manassas, Chantilly and Ashburn, where it has several multi-building campuses.

Equinix (Ashburn, Va.)
Loudoun County is home to more than 60 data centers, with 6 million square feet of data center space and another 3 million square feet in the pipeline. Many of those data centers seek to be close to an Ashburn cloud campus operated by Equinix, which provides interconnection services for networks and content companies. Equinix built its first data center in Ashburn in 1998, providing a “carrier-neutral” facility offering access to Internet backbones. The Equinix campus quickly become the Web’s busiest meeting place, with 10 buildings and nearly 500,000 square feet of allocation space in which more than 200 networks connect. As Equinix has grown, the land around its Ashburn campus has become some of the most strategic data center real estate in the world. The company has run out of room on its original campus and on Oct. 15 broke ground on a 40 acre parcel that will be home to five new data centers. Equinix expects to invest at least $1 billion on its North Ashburn campus over the next 10 years.

Digital Realty (Ashburn, Va.)
Digital Realty is a data center colossus, and the largest player in the multi-tenant market, with more than 24 million square feet of technical space in 30 markets around the globe. It  has built major cloud campuses in major markets, including Dallas, Santa Clara and Chicago. The largest is in the heart of Loudoun County’s “Data Center Alley,” where the Digital Ashburn campus houses 1.5 million square feet of data center space in eight buildings to support tenants like Amazon Web Services, LinkedIn and major financial service providers. A ninth data center is under construction, and once that’s filled there’s room for a 10th building. Digital Realty has invested $950 million in the first eight facilities, and will spend another $300 million to complete the final two buildings. The company recently announced plans to build an additional 2 million square feet of data centers on a new cloud campus on adjacent land in Ashburn.

DuPont Fabros (Ashburn, Va)
Developer DuPont Fabros Technologies likes to build big, and that strategy has paid off in Ashburn, Virginia, where the company’s Ashburn Corporate Center (ACC) cloud campus houses more than 1.6 million square feet of data center space, spread across six huge buildings – including several that are more than 1,100 feet in length. The ACC campus was launched in 2007 to provide large footprint “wholesale” data center space next door to the Equinix interconnection facilities. DuPont Fabros’ approach has won over some of the largest Internet players, including Microsoft, Rackspace and Facebook, which leases more than 40 megawatts of capacity at the ACC campus. These companies represent the new breed of “super wholesale” users than can build their own data centers, but have opted to lease server space, swayed by the economics of buying versus building. DFT and its customers have invested more than $1.2 billion in infrastructure in Ashburn.