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Macrophage87 t1_ir5i9tz wrote

Reply to comment by Bobdude17 in Train to Ashburn! by albinotuba

It's actually the physical location of about 70% of the internet. As for points of interest, no idea. The main function here is to bring more people who live in the suburbs but drive to the DC area to take transit instead.,known%20as%20Data%20Center%20Alley.


isabellla321 t1_ir5om48 wrote

Really?! I live right next to the Internet?


Macrophage87 t1_ir5osjs wrote

Most of it anyway. Yep, the mythical 'cloud' is mostly just a collection of computers in Ashburn, VA. Sadly, most places don't offer tours, nor is there actually a cloud to look at, as far as I know. If somewhere needs some mythical-looking cloud sculpture, its Ashburn.


isabellla321 t1_ir5pyk8 wrote

I am sure there is absolutely nothing interesting to tour inside anyway, just a big gray box. Windows aren’t even necessary. A big cloud sculpture would definitely help! Make data look cool!


darockerj t1_ir6lpcy wrote

a friend got me in once for a secret tour. really not much to look at - no branding, not even a lot of people, just somewhat large rooms with stacks of servers all whirring away. it’s probably interesting if you’re a dork in the industry who likes to hear stats about how much traffic they process and to see that in person. otherwise, it’s no different from any other server room.


SchuminWeb t1_ir6xmea wrote

This is what two of them look like from outside:

I can't imagine that they're all that exciting looking on the inside. After all, they're not designed for humans as much as they are designed for computer hardware. I had to go to the Atlantech data center in Silver Spring a long time ago, and it was pretty much gray and white corridors with cages for computer equipment in it.


angelaswiener t1_ir6aimo wrote

I used to have to go to one of the big datacenters out there when my company moved our servers off site to a shared facility. Security is really tight and allowing tours would be a huge liability. But unless you're into server hardware and cables, it's pretty boring anyway.


Macrophage87 t1_ir6axoq wrote

I am into server hardware and cables! Guess I have to be satisfied with youtube!


ohoneup t1_ir61ui0 wrote

Who's decision was that? What a liability.


Macrophage87 t1_ir633wn wrote

Almost everywhere has a backup elsewhere, and likely mirrors on the west coast and other continents.


greetedworm t1_ir68cqp wrote

If I had to guess I'd say the first big contracts for cloud were from the Feds so they built the facilities out here and then economies of scale took over.


OriginalUsername07 t1_ir6xqx2 wrote

What do you mean liability? Ashburn is far enough away from DC to not be severely damaged by most large ICBMs, were DC to be targeted. Add to that, we get no really intense weather or hurricanes or tornadoes in this area, no severe flooding, no earthquakes, ashburn has (or had when they started building the data centers) plenty of land to build up with secure perimeters, proximity to ocean fiber optic cables on the east coast. It’s the perfect location to put something like this


BoozAlien t1_ir70n6a wrote

And if you drive out there to see these data centers that are sprouting up like weeds these days, they're immensely thick concrete boxes that will withstand nearly any disaster.


daedelous t1_ir69umf wrote

Until people realize how long it takes to metro from that far out compared to driving (or compared to driving to a metro closer to DC).


Macrophage87 t1_ir6bxdd wrote

It's likely to be about maybe 60 minutes or so from Ashburn to say L'Enfant. That's probably less than what it would take to drive to DC in rush hour without taking the toll roads. Google maps would put it at 1hr 15min no toll and 1 hr 5 min with for driving, assuming an 8 am departure on this Thursday. So it's time competitive with the Metro right now. The big difference is that you get to relax and play with your cell phone rather than get stuck in traffic.

Metro time estimate:

Route calc:'Enfant+Plaza+SW,+Washington,+DC/@38.9555627,-77.4069854,11z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m17!4m16!1m5!1m1!1s0x89b615f166fcc957:0x9da316eb11e3d5b!2m2!1d-77.4874416!2d39.0437567!1m5!1m1!1s0x89b7b776477210b1:0x23e749cb5103b154!2m2!1d-77.0253936!2d38.8842094!2m3!6e0!7e2!8j1665042300


daedelous t1_ir6ukd6 wrote

I think it'll be more like 1hr 15 but, regardless, that's just the train portion...

The thing that everyone forgets is that, because this is a surbuban station, basically everyone in Ashburn will have to get in a car (maybe a bus), and drive to Ashburn Station. The amount of time it takes to drive to a train station, drive around finding a parking space, walk through the parking lot, take an elevator/stairs to the right level, possibly even cross over a walkway, to even get into the train station, adds a ton of additional time on top of that 1hr 15min.

Something people also tend to forget is that if people are already in their car driving to a metro stop, many will realize that they can save a lot of time by driving to a Metro drop closer to D.C.

I know this from personal experience back when I lived in Sterling. I was 20 minutes from Wiehle and was excited to use it to go into DC. I ended up using it once in 3 years because it actually took forever.

For weekenders, it's no contest. It's easy to find $10 parking in D.C. and they can cut their travel time in half by driving instead of Metro-ing.

Oh, and don't forget parking $4.50/day or so.


Macrophage87 t1_ir6xvja wrote

There's a lot of personal preference here as well. For me, I'd much rather just relax on a metro than drive in horrendous traffic.


daedelous t1_ir8hour wrote

No one’s going to commute on a metro when it takes 2+ hours each way, regardless of how they feel about driving.


Macrophage87 t1_ir9aamh wrote

People do it on the MARC from Frederick and Martinsburg all the time.


ColonialTransitFan95 t1_ir865lm wrote

They offer $10 parking in DC on weekends? For a city that really want to encourage people to use transit, this is not the answer.


G2-to-Georgetown t1_ir6zgqy wrote

> It's likely to be about maybe 60 minutes or so from Ashburn to say L'Enfant.

The current Silver Line is one hour and 12 minutes. The extension will bring it up to about 90 minutes. That's 45 minutes on the silver part of the Silver Line, and then Ballston to Metro Center is 15 minutes, Metro Center to Stadium-Armory is another 15 minutes, and then Stadium-Armory to Largo is another 15 minutes. So you're looking at about an hour and six to L'Enfant from Ashburn.

Depending, of course, on how quickly your fellow passengers board. I've had Central on my case before asking if I'm having any problems with my train because I'm behind schedule, and I'll respond, "Yes, tell these people to board more quickly."


Macrophage87 t1_ir71cxq wrote

It might be brought down when the 8000 series comes online in a couple years, assuming you can get the speeds up between those.


anonymous_aardvark2 t1_irdgalc wrote

I’d guess people in Ashburn are much more likely to use it to commute to Tysons than into DC


Chaz042 t1_ir8b3yl wrote

I mean in Chicago is the next biggest with a large chuck of the US internet.