As greater quantities of data and software are stored in the so-called cloud, technology giants Microsoft (MSFT
), Google (GOOG
), Apple (AAPL
), and Facebook
are among the companies building data centers aboveground across the country.
Some businesses that seek additional security and protection from disaster are putting their data centers underground. Former mines and Cold War nuclear bunkers have been converted into rooms filled with servers that process data and can function as backup facilities in case of an aboveground outage. Most underground spaces are safe from tornadoes, ice storms, and other natural disasters. Some are safe from man-made disasters, too: One can survive a 20-megatron nuclear bomb detonated just a couple of miles away. An unexpected benefit is that constant underground temperatures make these spaces energy-efficient. With companies spending millions of dollars annually to power data centers, reduced energy consumption means lower electric bills.
Among the following data centers, most offer only approximate locations because many companies prefer to keep exact locations private as a security precaution.