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January 21, 2022

Northern Virginia: The Epicenter of the Datacenter Boom

What has factors have influenced the booming Northern Virginia datacenter Market? How can Immersion cooling ensure it is future-proof?


It’s no secret that the United States is an attractive market for Datacenters, with many states including Texas and North Virginia home to an ever-growing number of Datacenters. The number of Datacenters located in the US now stands at such a number that there is 1 datacenter per every 100 people

With these growth levels showing no signs of slowing down, it is crucial that these states and indeed the companies that operate within them take control of their operations, to reduce their impact on the environment and what’s more work towards having a positive impact through technologies such as heat reuse. Could the answer lie in immersion cooling

Why Northern Virginia? 

Northern Virginia became the center of the East Coast datacenter market after Equinix opened there in 1999 and the area hasn’t looked back since. Indeed, the state is now home to a total of 202 datacenters. 

Recent figures confirm that the region will continue to be a datacenter hotspot with Amazon Web Services (AWS) proposing a new building of 1.75 million square feet. 

Let’s take a closer look at why Northern Virginia is now considered a key location for Datacenters.

Location, Location, Location

Unsurprisingly, just like when looking for a house, the location of a new datacenter is paramount to its success. Northern Virginia presents a unique offering to Datacenters thanks to its incredibly close proximity to Washington D.C, an epicentre of Government agencies and consultancies, as well as other key industries such as Finance, Hospitality, Technology and Military and Defense, all of these being key industries and potential customers for up and coming datacenters. 

As land begins to become scarce worldwide, many datacenter companies are now having to fight against and prepare for harsh environmental conditions, such as earthquakes or droughts, however, this is not the case for Northern Virginia. 

Its location also places it perfectly to deliver a high-quality service to the rest of the east coast, ensuring that its customers and theirs experience minimal issues with latency

How Can Immersion Cooling Help? 

The power usage that used to take a whole building to generate can now be done by a single customer in a colocation building. Along with this, there has been an increased demand for land in Northern Virginia , as these data centers need to keep expanding, driving up land prices. Thanks to its design, Immersion cooling can increase efficiency and reduce the size of data centers, allowing companies to build high-density deployments without paying a premium for space. (prices are now reaching up to $1 billion dollars).

Please, Can I Have Some More? (Power and Connectivity)

There has been an increased number of hyperscalers moving to Datacenter Alley,  moving out of Silicon Valley, and coming east. Bringing with them extremely high workloads. These customers push their deployments to the limit, often finding that they cannot maximize the efficiency of their hardware due to size/power restrictions.

Northern Virginia has a long history of being well connected and in turn, offering very competitive rates of electricity and power to its residents.  Additionally, power supply companies that service the area are heavily committed to utilizing renewable energy that is sustainable, ticking another important box for Datacenter builders, who are becoming increasingly concerned about the types of energy used to power their infrastructure. 

The combination of good connectivity to the U.S and around the globe and the competitive energy prices further increases the desirability of Northern Virginia as a Datacenter hotspot. But how long will this endless supply of power last?

The Benefits of Immersion Cooling

While companies are currently sitting pretty with power supply working in their favour, it is unlikely to last forever. Implementing Immersion could help to ensure datacenters can maximize the output of servers while increasing density that isn’t possible in a normal air environment. Since Immersion is incredibly energy efficient, it also ensures that companies can get the best out of the energy that they are using. 

A Datacenter-Friendly Community

Building new Datacenters isn’t as easy as it used to be, with many countries around the world temporarily placing a ban upon the construction of new builds to ensure strict rules and regulations are met that protect the surrounding environment and communities

North Virginia however, recognizes and even welcomes datacenters. The industry directly or indirectly contributed to the creation of 45,290 full-time-equivalent jobs in the state with $3.5 billion in associated pay and benefits. The NVTC study also found that the industry directly or indirectly generated $600.1 million in state and local tax revenue in Virginia.

With an ideal location, reliable energy, favorable tax breaks, and incredible connectivity, it makes sense that the data center industry would find its permanent home in Northern Virginia. Combining these characteristics with a data center-friendly business climate, it’s easy to see why Northern Virginia became more than a data center destination – it IS the destination. 

SmartPod blue lights

Immersion Cooling: A Better Alternative for Local Governments?

 The scale of the datacenter industry in Northern Virginia attracts a lot of attention from local politicians in the region and the freedom companies are currently experiencing isn’t likely to last forever. Local governments are concerned about the environmental impact of these data centers and are always on the lookout for ways to reduce power usage. Immersion cooling can add political favors with local politicians who want to support green-friendly data centers thanks to its sustainability and efficiency benefits such as a <1.03 PUE, zero waste of water, and the possibility of heat reuse.


the increased presence of hyper scalers in Northern Virginia has led to increased densities in data centers. These buildings cannot cool higher densities efficiently with air and have decided to expand their operations instead of looking for improvements in density. Immersion cooling offers a way to increase density in these colocation partners, saving them future construction costs and increasing the space they have available to sell to customers. 

Discover Submer’s full range of immersion powered solutions here, or book a call with your local sales representative.