Why aren’t data centers located on mountain tops?

There is a bunch of ink out there about locating data centers to climate zones that are as cold as possible to save on the expense of cooling the center. Cooling is one of the key costs of operating a data center. Instead of doing that, why aren’t we moving data centers higher in the atmosphere (where it is colder) to gain the same (or better) cooling effect? It doesn’t strike me any more logistically difficult to either run cabling or build a power generating facility near the top of a peak than to locate a facility out in sticks of a northern climate when everything is added in. We have the mining capability and there is no real need to permanently disrupt the environment. Over tree line there isn’t that much and you would want to build underground anyway. You would probably have to have a piece of single track railway that ran to the top for equipment but that could be pretty well hidden. There are mountains located conveniently near to major population centers so the distance to connect to major data hubs could be relatively short. The cooling effect even at the peak of summer days would still be high; highs may only get into the 50’s on a 14er on summer days meaning a heat pump could still be extremely efficient in those conditions. Heck, you already have most of the infrastructure at most ski resorts to pull this off.

So why not locate data centers on top of mountains?

1 comment
  1. cgoeson said:

    Oracle should absolutely have a mountain top datacenter.

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