Data centers around the world are what makes the internet tick, which makes them big business. For example, Google, who necessarily operate a number of sites worldwide has traditionally been secretive when it comes to details of its data centers. In the UK, a large amount of the country's internet traffic has generally been served through sites around London, Europe or America, but that may change if plans to build a 250 acre, £1 billion ($1.6 billion) data center in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland go ahead. The project is being proposed by Internet Villages International, who have successfully raised £600m towards the planned 'Alba 1' data center, which could potentially provide around 3 million square feet of server space.
It also turns out that Scotland is something of an ideal place for planning such projects, as it provides the open space needed for construction along with a technically skilled workforce to back it up. Projects can also make use of green energy sources, with Alba planned to run off power provided by a nearby biomass plant and local wind farms. Tidal power generation could also play a part in future projects. If everything goes to schedule, Alba should open sometime in 2010.