If Ikea Made Data Centers | A Modular Vision of the Future

Radhika Sivadi

< 1 min read ·


If you’ve ever found yourself walking the aisles of Ikea, enjoying your meatballs and lingonberry jam, wondering what a data center would look like if Ikea’s designers made one, wonder no longer – MDC Stockholm just built it.

The same designer that brought us 2008’s Silent Running-inspired data center has returned in a big way by creating a modular data center.

“It’s very expensive to build a data center, and you always always end up with a lot of empty space before you have any clients,” said Jon Karlung, Bahnhof’s CEO, explaining why future data centers need to be scalable to be affordable.

Each 40-foot, prefabricated unit is built of the same metal you’ll find on tanks. The structure is double-wide and double stacked to allow for plenty of room for racks and technicians, and designed for stackability. Each one links to an inflatable dome that acts as the data center’s hub and as an office for the security staff and technicians. The team purposefully stayed away from the shipping container design of previous stackable facilities, instead finding inspiration in Star Trek.

The design allows for quick construction and permits future builders the ability to install the center in any terrain, opening up many possibilities that were once geographically prohibited. The one pictured above was built in Kista, Sweden, a city with an average temperature below freezing, in an area noted for its routine snowfall. Maybe its durability will someday help NASA put a supercomputer on the moon.

For the record, if you wanted a name for your new data center Ikea product, roughly translated, data center in Swedish is uppgifter centrum.

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Radhika Sivadi