In pictures: The world's coolest datacentres

Data centres need to be secure, temperature controlled, spacious, redundant, reliable – nothing sexy. But that doesn't mean they can't be. Here are a few that rise above the crowd and take advantage of the possibilities.

Hosting company pair Networks is building a data centre in the Las Vegas desert that relies heavily on solar panels and taps into the commercial power grid only for backup. It will use a natural-gas power plant on the site and also some form of cogeneration that will make use of the heat generated by the plant. The company is pretty close-mouthed about the project, but says it's also using technology that it believes isn't used in any other data centre. It promises to tell more as the facility nears completion.

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