China, IBM Develop City-Sized Cloud Computing Complex
The new center will cover an estimated 6.2 million square feet, with 646,000 square feet devoted to the data center alone. In total, the complex will be about the size of the Pentagon, though it will be spread out over a comparatively wider area in the Hebei Province. IBM will contribute its data design services to the project, with assistance from Range Technology Development Co. Once completed, the data center itself will be among the largest in the world, but it will still trail the 1.1-million-square-foot center in Chicago, which, according to Data Center Knowledge, remains the world's biggest.
The Chinese government has been devoting a lot of capital to expanding its IT sector in recent years. According to market research firm IDC, the country's IT spending is expected to total $112 billion this year, compared to the $97 billion it spent in 2010. The U.S., however, is expected to devote even more money to IT -- $564 billion in 2011, or about 5.9-percent more than it spent in 2010.
Dale Sartor, an engineer at the U.S. Department of Energy, says large, centralized cloud computing can allow the Chinese to rapidly scale up their IT industry without sacrificing energy efficiency or relinquishing control over their infrastructure. "I got a sense that the cloud is going to be huge in China for both efficiency reasons as well as the ability to control," Sartor told Computer World. "If everything was cloud computing and the government owns it, it's much easier to keep your finger on the Internet and other issues than [by using] a very distributed model."