Ambitious Projects: World’s Largest Data Center

Brian Wood Blog

Range 1Illustrated aerial view of Range International Information Hub (rangeidc.com)

With construction well underway, the Range International Information Hub, located in Langfang, China, is projected to be 6.3 million square feet, covering a land area of 331 acres. When it is completed, this data center will be nearly the same size as the Pentagon and offer an infrastructure unlike any other on earth.

A perfect combination of capital, technology, and government policy support has allowed the Range International Information Group to build a next-generation cloud computing data center which will play a pivotal role in integrating cloud computing center with the platform of Internet of Things.

IBM is to provide design services, technology, training, solutions, and business applications, while the Hub is to prompt economic growth and serve as an IT center for the Langfang economic development zone, especially in times of pressing demand for cloud computing and mobile devices.

The developer, Range Technology, collaborated with IBM on the initial data center build. Range and IBM will run the data centers collectively to provide services to private enterprises and to Chinese government agencies as well.

According to Range International, this new mega data center will host fourth-generation super data centers and cloud computing centers. The project “park” is divided into six functional areas:

  • Data Center
  • IT Industry Service
  • IT Industry New Development
  • Administration Service
  • Research & Development
  • Functional Support

The first phase of construction was completed in May 2011 and subsequent building milestones have also been reached since then.

Not much has been mentioned yet regarding the technical aspects of the data center (e.g., how many servers will be housed, how many miles of fiber optic cable will be used, the anticipated amount of energy used, etc.), but one thing is for sure: similar figures from all other data centers are expected to be dwarfed by the Range International Information Hub’s unprecedented massivity.

The architecture of the project is unique in nature and draws upon the Chinese symbol of good luck: the phoenix. The image of the flying phoenix also corresponds to the geographic location of the data center as the Phoenix (Fenghuang) River is located to the north of the center’s site. As a whole, the project park design reflects the idea of and the imagery of a phoenix flying in the sky and the landscaping of the roads and trees mimics this as well.

Range 2Architectural rendition of buildings and landscaping (rangeidc.com)

The Range is a truly mammoth data center; no other data center facility even comes close. Case in point: with construction well underway since 2011, it will still take another two years to complete. Even with efficient work crews on shifts working around the clock, the information hub will have taken a total of five years to build. When it’s finally completed in 2016, the Range International Information Hub will debut with much fanfare and global curiosity.