As we live in an increasingly digital world, we get to see history being made in real-time all across the world. For residents of Northern Virginia, they are right next door to one of the most important parts of the digital economy. This is all thanks to the incredible number of data centers that now reside in what is known as Data Center Alley in Ashburn, VA. Some are even calling this alley the digital economy nerve center of the world.
Ashburn VA currently is home to over 63 data centers, with 23 providers.
How Many Data Centers Are in Ashburn, Virginia?
Ashburn VA currently is home to over 63 data centers, with 23 providers. As one of the largest hubs for data centers, it’s no wonder that there are so many services available in the region. This works out to the region’s data centers providing over 2,800 megawatts of commissioned power and energy for use in the online world. Not only is it the largest in the world, but it outcompetes other popular regions for data center space such as Dallas, as there is plenty of room to expand in an otherwise rural and undeveloped region.
Data center services that are available in this region include, but are not limited to, networking, storage, and computing infrastructure. This may include data backups and recovery, website hosting, and data management services.
Photo Source: VEDP.org
If there is ever a need for something that a data center in Ashburn can’t provide, the region isn’t far from other tech companies in Northern Virginia and is only a short distance from the nation’s capital. With millions of acres planned for development in coming years, there is no shortage of innovative new technology and improved standards across the industry.
With the location figured out, these businesses can continue to expand and work on improving data security, power and cooling efficiency, and streamlining the world’s information.
What Makes Ashburn VA Data Centers Stand Out?
Because of the region’s lowered costs and special tax exemptions on computer equipment, Ashburn VA originally stood out as an inexpensive place to generate new tech businesses that could benefit from stretching their budget a little. Furthermore, the amicable environment and proximity to the nation’s most important airport provided traveling executives with convenient transportation.
The 6% tax exemption also allows data centers to source and house more water, cooling their equipment in larger batches as more water can be budgeted for throughout the year. This drives further expansion, as more cooling power allows the expansion of server rooms; which are otherwise limited. The region’s local water supplies are not impacted as the water can be sourced across northern Virginia and along the coastline.
While most data centers choose development in high-cost real estate and power costs to position themselves closer to end users, Northern Virginia is ripe for development while still providing close access for much of the nation. With so many established networking data centers, this has allowed Ashburn VA data centers to expand their high-speed reach to a global scale.
What is Data Center Alley?
Comprised of over 60 data centers in what was once rural northern Virginia, Data Center Alley is what many people are now calling the business sector of Ashburn, VA. A cluster of technology and innovation, this region is an integral part of the digital economy’s movement forward.
These data centers are part of a larger network of businesses in the region that is made accessible by the local Dulles International Airport. The Ashburn VA data centers are made up of three primary types of centers, each one with a focus on providing businesses around the world with either computing, storage, or networking capabilities.
An aerial view of major facilities in Data Center Alley in Ashburn, Virginia. Photo Source: ArcGIS.
Intermingled with these data centers are other technology-based businesses and governmental organizations. This sector is near Washington, DC, and forms a significant portion of what is known as the Dulles Technology Corridor, named after the region’s airport.
Now that data centers have established themselves in the region, there are no signs of slowing down as the world’s requirements for new data centers and cloud-based storage and networking grows. This opens the region up to a lot of innovation and new companies looking to make a splash in the technological sector.
The Digital Economy Nerve Center of the World
In an increasingly digital world, it’s no wonder that much of the economy has become digital. With such an influx, businesses are popping up everywhere to accommodate digital needs and provide online services.
While most people are familiar with the tech centers of the world, creating innovations in technology increases our capabilities. These areas are known as nerve centers, where people go to create opportunities and expand horizons for businesses around the world.
The digital economy nerve center of the world is shaping up to be Ashburn, VA. The number one reason for this is because of the data centers that provide the internet so many other businesses rely on. Following in the footsteps of tech centers but setting itself apart enough to create something new, Ashburn VA data centers are creating a central hub for conducting business around the world.
“It may sound like just another regular city, but it’s impressively known as the Data Center Capital of the World.”
In 2019, Oracle announced an agreement to create a high-speed link with Microsoft Azure cloud data centers which are located in Ashburn.¹ As a well-known company for cloud platform applications, Oracle has added to the list of credentials Ashburn has already accrued in its rise to fame.
Other companies, such as Amazon and Google, also have data centers in the Ashburn, VA region as it is a strategic location to connect these companies with the rest of the world.
Why Does Ashburn VA Have So Many Data Centers?
There are many data centers in Ashburn, VA because of its low cost and low risk to start a business, as well as its history as a network access point. The abundant amount of power is available to businesses at a cost lower by an average of 20%, making it an attractive location for digital support businesses such as data centers.
Another factor that plays into its current number of data centers is that the region is at low risk for natural disasters, and it is located close to Washington, DC, and an international airport, making it easy for businesses to connect with the rest of the world either digitally or in-person. Virginia also provides businesses with a tax exemption from retail sales and use taxes for qualifying computer equipment that meets statutory investment and employment requirements, allowing data center businesses to stretch their budget and streamline their growth.
Furthermore, the number of data centers in the area only increases its viability as a strong place to develop a new data center, as the business and technology connections to other businesses provide an incentive to innovative new companies looking to break through in the market.
What is the Largest Data Center in Ashburn VA?
The largest data center in Ashburn is always in flux as there are more developments being planned every year. Currently, there are more than 25 million square feet of data centers currently in operation with no sign of slowing down developments in the next few years.
As of 2022, Sabey Data Centers positioned itself as a competitor for the largest data center in the region should it decide to expand. This location is in the heart of Ashburn, providing space for data centers and auxiliary facilities across 38 acres of land. Still, they are third in the list featured here.
Vantage Data Centers is poised to eclipse this as their fully-developed plan includes a campus for five facilities across 42 acres. The plan with these facilities is to offer 1446MW of capacity and over 1 million square feet of data center space. Vantage Data Centers is large, but it still does encompass the size of the larger campuses.
In 2017, Google purchased 58 acres for their data center, now built near the Dulles Greenway. Compared to the rural past of Loudon County, there’s no mistaking that the technology business’ rise is a boon, not just to the digital economy, but also to the local economy.
How Much of the World’s Internet Goes Through Ashburn?
With so many Ashburn VA data centers, it leaves you wondering just how much of the world’s internet traffic flows through this region. Fortunately, these calculations are easy to make. Currently, 70% of the world’s internet traffic passes through these data centers’ servers every second. Many internet speed tests are routed to servers in this location as well, as there is plenty of space for handling the traffic.
While this is not limited to a single data center or company, there is plenty of internet traffic to go around as internet use continues to rise around the globe. Without these data centers, we wouldn’t be able to order food on the go or study for the next big test.
A Data Center is Only as Good as Its Cleaning Practices
Data center specialists understand that the reliability of their equipment and minimizing downtime are crucial to the success of their business. This all starts with proper maintenance of equipment and keeping a facility up to the highest standards of cleanliness. Foreman Pro Cleaning proudly specializes in maintaining data centers and supporting the cutting-edge industry in Northern Virginia. We are the area’s partner for data center cleaning in Ashburn as well as the data center infrastructure across Virginia. Contact us for a free estimate and to experience outstanding customer service.
Forbes, The Cloud Can Provide Both High Security and Maximum Flexibility, https://www.forbes.com/sites/oracle/2019/09/24/the-cloud-can-provide-both-high-security-and-maximum-flexibility/?sh=4b7465db5bc9