Down on the Server Farm, writes The Economist

The Economist continues its coverage of the data center industry by another writer in Seattle, referencing - Jonathan Koomey, Rich Miller (Data Center Knowledge), Mike Manos (Microsoft), Mike Foust (Digital Realty Trust).  The writer even mentions Microsoft Cblox containers.

The real-world implications of the rise of internet computing

Data Islandia

EVEN when the sky is blue over Quincy, clouds hang in the air. The small town in the centre of the state of Washington is home to half a dozen huge warehouses that power the global “computing clouds” run by internet companies such as Yahoo! and Microsoft. The size of several football pitches, these data centres are filled with thousands of powerful computers and storage devices and are hooked up to the internet via fast fibre-optic links.

Yet even more intriguing than the buildings' size is their location. Quincy is literally in the middle of nowhere, three hours' drive from the nearest big city, Seattle. But it turns out to be a perfect location for data centres. As computing becomes a utility, with services that can be consumed from everywhere and on any device, ever more thought is being put into where to put the infrastructure it needs.

Where the cloud touches down is not just the business of the geeks. Data centres are essential to nearly every industry and have become as vital to the functioning of society as power stations are. Lately, centres have been springing up in unexpected places: in old missile bunkers, in former shopping malls—even in Iceland. America alone has more than 7,000 data centres, according to IDC, a market-research firm. And each is housing ever more servers, the powerful computers that crunch and dish up data. In America the number of servers is expected to grow to 15.8m by 2010—three times as many as a decade earlier.