Inside the data centre that powers Las Vegas' casinos

Just like Las Vegas itself, the SuperNAP data centre that handles the city's gambling transactions is wonderfully over the top.

Even though Las Vegas's desert location ensures predictable and consistent climatological and geological conditions, each truck trailer contains a self-contained weather station so that the system can choose the most appropriate cooling method depending on weather conditions. The concern over cooling even informed the colour of the LED lighting illuminating the walkways between the racks and racks of servers red and blue LEDs apparently emit the least heat (and match Switch's corporate colours incidentally). Switch prides itself on its claim that for every 1 kw of energy its systems use, it only needs a quarter of a kw of energy to cool them.

It's red and blue for a reason – because it's cool.

It's red and blue for a reason because it's cool.

Electricity supplied by the public grid is piped through what is apparently a specially designed, redundant distribution system. Despite the presence of the Hoover Dam hydroelectric facility in Nevada, almost all of that output goes to California, so the public grid in Las Vegas derives 60% of it supply from natural gas-fuelled power plants.

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