Below is an excellent infographic published by Whoishostingthis.com, a webmaster tool that enables users to discover which web host any given website is hosted on.
I found it courtesy of Pam Baker in FierceBigData.
Emphasis in red added by me.
Brian Wood, VP Marketing
A Look Inside U.S. Data Centers
From Netflix to YouTube, and from Facebook to Twitter, people around the world enjoy content on the World Wide Web using sites that got their start—and make their electronic homes—in the United States. But few, if any, folks give serious consideration to the bustling, humming nerve centers that host this array of sites and content.
Data centers are the physical locations that hold the computers and other hardware that form the backbone of the vast, interconnected network we call “The Internet.”
As consumers of energy and other resources, few things can compare to the voracious appetite of the average data center. In the United States, data centers take up nearly 10 million square meters of white space, and consume 11.55 gigawatts of power every year. (Fans of the Back to the Future series will note that this could power approximately nine of Doc Brown’s time-traveling DeLoreans.)
What’s eating so much power and taking up all that space? Servers. The computers that fill the thousands of data centers across the U.S. are home not just to the resources for megasites like YouTube, Google, and Microsoft—the Redmond giant accounts for more than a million servers alone—but the media, websites, and other data for countless smaller business and personal sites. Collectively, the U.S. accounts for a fair chunk of the nearly five million servers in use for business environments worldwide.
Data centers are a part of daily life for anyone who uses the Internet (albeit an indirect one for most). And while Internet titans like Google (as well as environmental experts) are actively encouraging folks to review their actual tech needs (and ditch their data centers in favor of more centralized solutions), it’s likely these high-tech homes for our information and media will continue to play a critical part in our shared online experience for years to come.