China will be using IBM's data design services, among other services, in the Hebei Province complex. It is working with Range Technology Development Co. on the project.
China's rapid IT growth has been a plus for IBM, which said its growth in that country in 2010 was up 25% over the year before.
The first phase of the Hebei Province plan calls for building seven low-slung data centers. But the data center space could easily expand to more than a million square feet. The plan calls for another six data center buildings, three on either side of the initial seven, if they're needed. The center is expected to be completed in 2016, IBM said.
In terms of size, the data centers will be among the world's biggest. The largest known data center complex is a 1.1-million-square-foot facility in Chicago owned by Digital Realty Trust, according to Data Center Knowledge, which has ranked the data centers by size.
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