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Hardware IT

A Data Center That Looks Like a Mansion 101

1sockchuck writes "A luxury homebuilder in Minnesota wants to build a data center that looks like a mansion, allowing the commercial building to fit into a residential neighborhood. The 'community-based data center' designed for FiberPop features a stone facade and sloped roof with dormers, along with an underground data hall."
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A Data Center That Looks Like a Mansion

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  • by hackertourist ( 2202674 ) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @01:22PM (#38782365)

    In particular, will the neighbors enjoy the continuous howling of the AC fans?

  • Oil in Beverly Hills (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Animats ( 122034 ) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @02:16PM (#38782831) Homepage

    How many of you have heard of the working oil fields underneath Los Angeles?

    LA used to be famous for that. [] (Look at 03:00) There were oil rigs all over town. Beverly Hills High School still has a rig. [] It brings in about $1 million a year. There used to be hundreds of pumps between LAX and Venice Beach.

    The LA basin is mostly pumped out now, and most pumps have been removed. Most of the remaining ones are concealed.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @02:22PM (#38782873)

    You expect users to act rational? I'm pretty sure being able to go over and "see" your data is a selling point for some people. Helll, I had a boss who refused to get (heaps cheaper and more reliable) server housing instead of having the server located in our storage room because he was afraid to "lose control" of the data.

    People are not necessarily rational creatures. So yes, having "physical access", as limited if not nonexisting as it may actually be, might even be a reason.

  • by Matheus ( 586080 ) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @03:05PM (#38783245) Homepage

    A few points:
    1) You say you live a couple hundred miles away from Minnetonka. That places you exactly no where that is even slightly resemblent of this area so I wouldn't use your personal local experience as a good reference.
    2) The suburbs around the Twin Cities (especially the rich ones like Minnetonka) are plowed significantly better than the core. Faster, better plowing/QOS. We haven't had much snow this year at all but last year when we were buried the cores basically shut down because they had no where to put the snow and because the urban street parking gets in the way of fully clearing the roads. Also, this being a large enough private parcel, they will have no problem getting their property cleared privately for much less cost than you might think (especially if they find some cost effective way to use the plowed snow for cooling)
    3) This is not being built in the middle of a bunch of McMansions... this is former, not yet developed, farm land (Minnetonka's about as close to the downtowns as you can get and still find that). A large part of Minnetonka is not the extremely expensive lake-living property. The real estate market is also terrible still (although recovering a bit) so the previous plans to develop this land probably fell apart. No one is financing new subdivisions because they can't sell the properties they've already built. This is a developer who had already purchased the land finding a new way to make use of it. Noise and traffic are not non-issues but when the developer owns all the land surrounding the place he can control a lot about who cares. TFA mentions the reduced density the land will have probably including significant distancing to reduce sound issues.
    4) Although there is some merit to the scams theories popping up, they really are close to their target audience. Aside from the FTTH service that would probably be a small part of the new business, The outer tier suburbs have really exploded in terms of tech offices. We have a larger technical base out-city, especially around Minnetonka/Excelcior/Eden Prairie, than downtown has. The money out there is HUGE and they are being smart finding themselves close to their customers corporate AND residential.

    Just sayin...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 22, 2012 @03:06PM (#38783251),-93.474383&spn=0.02365,0.039353&hnear=15545+Ranchview+Ct,+Minnetonka,+Hennepin,+Minnesota+55391&gl=us&t=h&z=15&vpsrc=6 []

    After a bit of googleing seems to be where they plan to put it. This is not the prime area of Minnetonka, just north of a highway, no lake, behind some car dealerships, and on a swamp. It is also only about 1/2 mile from a middle school. You need to go about two mile southwest from there for the major homes or the west side of lake Minnetonka.

    As for the fan and generator noise, probably quieter than the 2 major highways (I394 & I494) right near there same for the generators(especially if steps are taken to minimize the sound of both). I'd bet ambient daytime sound levels are rather high there.

    Fun facts, I drive within 0.25 miles of this site everyday on my way to work, I work in the same building as the architect in question, and work for a company that makes HVAC units for datacenters among other uses.

  • by Hadlock ( 143607 ) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @04:48PM (#38784231) Homepage Journal

    If you go to Plano (suburb of Dallas, Texas), there are tens, if not a hundred buildings scattered all over the city that look like houses, with roofs, centrally located doors (like houses), manicured "lawns" and even a tree in the "front yard". They typically occupy less than a quarter acre and only have parking for one or two cars (particularly Verizon trucks).
    They have no windows.
    Typically 1,000 sq feet or so they look like a small house, or a detached garage (rare in the area) and have brick exteriors (matches the houses in the area) with roof overhangs. No two are exactly alike, but they're generally near the entrance.
    So yes, it's not uncommon to see telecommunications buildings (I guess mansions would be the next logical step) in neighborhoods disguised as "houses". They're easy to pick out if you know to look for them. I'm sure other cities have them too (particularly in the DFW area).

"What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying." -- Nikita Khrushchev