This week we have news about QTS Data Centers’ plans for a huge campus in Georgia, which have made headlines that it is the largest data center in the world. At 7 million square feet, the QTS project is a contender, no doubt.
Sorting the largest data centers is a difficult task. In my 22 years of data center industry reporting, I have delved into this question multiple times (see Top 10 Cloud Campuses of 2015 and World’s Largest Data Centers at DCK in 2010). Some of the largest cloud builders do not disclose the campus size of their data centers, and much of the public data in campus sizes represents a mix of current and future capacity, and sometimes just future capacity.
But the trend towards larger campuses is undeniable, so we’ve tried to quantify the huge wave of MegaCampuses in the pipeline, as well as highlight some projects that don’t share many details on their scale.
Larger campuses with public data
Let’s start with campus projects that have released data on their development plans, including the square footage of the data center space.
- Compass Data Center, Prince William County: In June, Compass Datacenters unveiled plans to build up to 10.5 million square feet of data center capacity in the Prince William Digital Gateway, a proposed 2,100-acre technology corridor in Manassas, which could accommodate up to 27 million square feet. of data center development. Compass seeks to redevelop 825 acres of land for its project. The Digital Gateway is controversial because it is adjacent to one of Manassas’ Civil War battlefields and a state forest, but last week it passed a milestone when the Prince William Planning Commission recommended approval of the project.
- QTS Data Center, Prince William County: QTS was the first company to reveal that plans to expand the Prince William Digital Gateway proposal could take that initiative to the next level. Its rhizonization application aims to develop an 800-acre campus with the capacity to build approximately 7.9 million square feet of data center space. Capacity would be distributed, with QTS describing two development areas: Digital Gateway North, with up to 5.3 million SF of development on 470 acres, and Digital Gateway South with up to 2.6 million square feet of development. space on 342 acres. The campus would be developed gradually, with full construction expected by 2030.
- Digital Reality, Loudoun County: To secure its long-term expansion roadmap in Northern Virginia, Digital Realty plans to build the world’s largest multi-tenant data center campus on a 424-acre plot of land near the long-known Dulles Airport. like Western Lands. The Digital Dulles campus will create 7.5 million square feet of new data center space over a 15-year period, according to the documents. The development plan includes 11 large data center buildings, ranging from 525.00 square feet up to 766,000 square feet.
- QTS Data Center, Fayetteville, Georgia: Known as Project Excalibur, this QTS development is slated for 16 buildings and up to 7 million square feet, including 6.6 million SF of data centers and 400,000 SF of office space, according to filings with state agencies. QTS has purchased 615 acres of land in Fayetteville, which is approximately 20 miles south of Atlanta, and expects its construction to begin in 2023 and continue through 2032.
- Change, Reno: The Citadel Campus is expected to be the largest of the five huge CORE campuses developed by Switch. the Las Vegas-based digital infrastructure specialist. Switch has deployed more than 1 million SF and 130 megawatts on campus, which was initially supposed to reach 7.2 million square meters. Recent investor submissions state that Switch plans to roll out an additional 5 million square feet of data center, placing the campus building at approximately 6 million SF.
- Meta, Iowa: Altoona, Iowa, will become Meta’s largest cloud campus with the addition of two new data centers, the company said in late 2021. The new capacity will increase Altoona to more than 5 million square feet of data center space. pushing it past the company’s Prineville, Oregon campus (4.6 million square feet). Facebook / Meta has multiple campuses ranging from 2 to 4 million square feet.
- Airline Sydney 3: Australian hyperscale specialist AirTrunk has been building large projects for years and recently announced its SYD3 campus in Sydney, a 320 megawatt project that the company says will be the largest in the Asia-Pacific (ex-China) region. The project will give AirTrunk a capacity of over 450 megawatts in the greater Sydney region. Although the company hasn’t included square footage in its versions,
- Switch, Las Vegas: Switch’s original Supernap campus, now known as the CORE campus, has undergone continuous expansion since opening in 2008. It is Switch’s largest operating campus, with 2.34 million SF of data centers and another 1.6 million SF of data centers. square feet to come, placing the CORE campus just under 4 million SF.
Contender of unknown size
Many data center vendors do not disclose the square footage or energy consumption of their campuses. Some of these are clearly contenders for the title of the world’s largest campuses, or will soon be.
- Google, Iowa: Joe Kava, a Google data center executive, described the company’s Council Bluffs, Iowa campus as the largest data center campus in the world. With the completion of its final phase in February, Google has now invested $ 5 billion on its Iowa campus. Google kicked off the data center boom in Iowa with its 2007 facility in Council Bluffs, part of Google’s first wave of global distribution of large data center campuses. It has gradually expanded the campus over the past 15 years.
- Microsoft, Southern Virginia: Microsoft’s campus in Boydton, Virginia is arguably the largest of its many campuses around the world. The campus has grown steadily through several generations of data center projects, including both combinations of containerized data center modules and traditional designs. The most recent information places the project at 1.1 million SF, but satellite photos suggest the project has grown beyond that size. In 2021, Microsoft purchased 900 acres of land to further expand its operations in Mecklenburg County.
- Amazon Web Services, Ashburn: The digital infrastructure that supports the AWS cloud is huge, including around 50 data centers in Northern Virginia. Amazon’s infrastructure is distributed in clusters that typically include three data centers, which are spread across multiple smaller sites rather than a single large campus, so Amazon doesn’t rank as high as it might otherwise in a campus size ranking. . This approach is driven by Amazon’s use of Availability Zones, which allow customers to run instances in multiple locations to avoid a single point of failure. While not a traditional campus, AWS has over 1 million SF of data centers on contiguous properties in Ashburn, Virginia.
- Quantum Loophole, Maryland: The first Quantum Loophole campus in Frederick County won’t be online until early 2024, but is expected to come with 2,000 acres of land, 1,080 megawatts of power and infrastructure to support energy strategies that integrate natural gas, energy storage and hydrogen. Quantum Loophole has already signed Aligned as its first tenant and is positioned to create a new geographic submarket to support the huge cloud cluster in Northern Virginia, which is experiencing power constraints in Ashburn.
Over the course of the year, we’ve seen many reports of huge multi-million-square-foot campuses in China. Some of these reports overestimated the size of the physical infrastructure, as recently noted by DataCenterDynamics, which struggled to document claims of a 10 million square foot China Telecom campus. In the interest of sharing verifiable data, we looked at public companies with investor reporting obligations.
- ChinData: ChinData serves large hyperscale suppliers in China. ChinData’s latest investor presentation states that the company has 776 megawatts of capacity, which is hyperscale in every respect. The largest ChinData campus appears to be in Datong, Shanxi province west of Beijing, where the company says it has deployed 257 MW of capacity, with plans to reach 500 MW upon completion. A 2020 ChinaDaily story claims that the initial ChinData facility in Datong was 50 MW, described as “Asia’s highest tier for a single data center.
- GDS Data Center:This publicly owned data center developer reports a total footprint of 5.42 million square feet in its portfolio, with its largest concentration in Beijing, where it manages 229,000 square meters of data center space, or approximately 2.46. million square feet.
- Chinese telecommunications: As DCD noted, reports on the actual size of the company’s facilities are difficult to verify. But media reports place the China Telecom Inner Mongolia Information Park in Hohhot at 10.7 million square feet.
- Chinese telephone company:Several reports claim that China Mobile operates a 7 million square foot data center in the Inner Mongolia Data Park, apparently close to China Telecom’s largest site.