By: Jonathan Vanian
A lot goes on behind the scenes every time you “like” your friend’s baby photos or search for recipes. Thousands of powerful computers retrieve and update the information on your screen.
Although important, the windowless, football-field-size buildings that house those computers aren’t exactly exciting. But a number of companies have built data centers in unusual locations, giving them a touch of mystique.
In Sweden, for example, Facebook (FB, -0.39%) constructed a data center that uses chilly Arctic wind to prevent the computer servers inside from overheating. Meanwhile, Microsoft (MSFT, +0.30%) is researching how to build underwater data centers that would require less energy to cool.
Whatever the case, companies carefully consider where to open data centers, keeping in mind security, cost, and proximity to their users. Here are some of the most atypical data centers and a couple of out-there ideas for future facilities.
Startup Nautilus Data Technologies is trying to develop a floating data center on a barge that it believes would save companies money on their energy bills by providing easy access to seawater. It hopes to have a version of its experimental design operating at the Port of Stockton, in California, by early 2018.