For end users, it’s easy to forget how much infrastructure is required to support the invisible magic that is cloud technology.

In reality, the cloud is made up of industrial-scale warehouses packed with backup generators, air conditioners, and data centers, where servers and other storage equipment are kept. In China, these data centers occupy a total of about 2.35 million square meters*, an area that is expected to expand to 3.27 million by 2019, according to DatacenterDynamics (DCD) Intelligence. On top of that, each data center requires electricity – a lot of it.

“In operational costs, electricity is the most expensive,” says Pan Dong from Guofu Guangqi (国富光启), a Shanghai-based PaaS and IaaS company. “Why are China’s telecom companies willing to go to Inner Mongolia and Guiyang? Because the electricity is cheaper.”

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

What you get

Full access to all premium content and our full archives

Members'-only newsletters

Preferential access and discounts to all TechNode events

Direct access to the TechNode newsroom

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

Eva Xiao

Eva Xiao is a tech reporter based in Shanghai. Contact her at eva.xiao@technode.com or evawxiao (wechat & twitter).