Any list of the world’s most significant Internet infrastructure is bound to generate controversy. With that in mind, here’s how we approached our list of the Top 10 Cloud Campuses.
This list builds upon The World’s Largest Data Centers, the original benchmark list for data center scale. Developed during my time at Data Center Knowledge, this list ranked single buildings based upon their total square footage.
This turned out to be an imperfect metric, as it doesn’t account for utilization of the building. Many readers suggested power usage would be a better metric. Alas, few data center operators share public data on utilization or power usage; certainly not enough to create a meaningful or accurate Top 10 list. Most significantly, the single-building ranking didn’t account for the emergence of massive multi-facility campuses being developed by the largest hyperscale users, including Google and Microsoft, as well as the largest publicly-held data center developers.
In revisiting a “Top 10” list of Internet infrastructure for 2015, we are focusing on data center campuses as the best metric for the largest concentrations of compute capacity. These rankings are subjective, but take into account the total square footage, power capacity (where available), financial investment in the site, compute density, and strategic importance. The final list reflects the major players in Internet infrastructure. While we use the term “cloud campuses,” the list focuses on the largest concentrations of Internet infrastructure, rather than seeking to sift the many dueling definitions of what constitutes a cloud.
What about carrier hotels? Stay tuned. We’ll be taking a closer look at these facilities in the near future.