Everyone knows that data centers are vital to global connectivity. Our content – from cat videos to financial transactions – is stored and distributed from these data centers 24/7 and we expect on-demand, high quality, and real-time access to it whenever and wherever we need it. But just how big has the data center monster become? Here are 12 fascinating facts about data centers that just may blow your mind.

1)  There are over 7,500 data centers worldwide, with over 2,600 in the top 20 global cities alone, and data center construction will grow 21% per year through 2018.

2)  By 2020, at least 1/3 of all data will pass through the cloud.

3)  The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) estimates that data centers consume up to 3% of all global electricity production.

4)  With just over 300 locations (337 to be exact), London, England has the largest concentration of data centers in any given city across the globe. 

5)  California has the largest concentration of data centers in the U.S. with just over 300 locations.

6)  The average data center consumes over 100x the power of a large commercial office building, while a large data center uses the electricity equivalent of a small U.S. town.

7)  The largest concentration of data centers in a U.S. city is within the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area (approximately 306 centers).

8)  Data centers are increasingly using in-flight wire speed encryption, which keeps your data fully protected from the moment it leaves one data center to the moment it arrives at another.

9)  The largest data center in the world (Langfang, China) is 6.3 million square feet—nearly the size of the Pentagon.

10)  As much as 40% of the total operational costs for a data center come from the energy needed to power and cool the massive amounts of equipment data centers require. (see our data center power calculator here)

11)  Google recently announced plans to build 12 new cloud-focused data centers over a 1.5-year period.

12)  By 2020, nearly 8% of all new data centers will be powered by green energy.

For more data center facts and figures, check out the sources below: