By Daisuke Wakabayashi
Google Inc. plans to spend $600 million to build a data center in
western Iowa, the latest site in a massive network of server farms
holding the hundreds of thousands of computers which run its Web
Construction of the new data center in Council Bluffs has started and
Google plans to start operations by spring of 2009, Iowa Governor Chet
Culver announced in a news release. Google said the region is a busy
crossroads of Internet activity.
The western Iowa facility, which sits on nearly 1,200 acres of land,
with room for expansion, will employ about 200 workers whose
responsibility will be to keep the facility running 24 hours a day.
Google declined to offer specific details about its network of data
centers, but said it has "dozens" of facilities around the world,
including recently announced projects in Oklahoma, North Carolina and
Data centers, also known as server farms, are nondescript buildings
filled with row upon row of computer servers, data storage and network
systems. They provide the infrastructure to power a variety of Web
services, ranging from online video to hosted e-mail to Internet
Google and other Web heavyweights like Microsoft Corp. are
capitalizing on the declining cost of computing power and data storage
to build enormous data centers in areas with cheap electricity. These
companies see data centers as a competitive way to differentiate from
smaller Internet service providers that can't afford to make the heavy
up-front investments in infrastructure.
MidAmerican Energy Co., which will supply the electricity to the
facility, would not say how much electricity the data center will
consume, citing a confidentiality agreement with Google.
The energy company recently completed the expansion of its coal-fired
plant in Council Bluffs, which can produce over 1,300 megawatts.
Separately, Google told a news conference in Paris that the Mountain
View, California-based company aims to cut or offset all of its
greenhouse emissions by the end of the year. It is the latest in a
string of corporations seeking to cutback emissions gases that
scientists link to global warming.
(Additional reporting by Timothy Gardner in New York)
Copyright 2007 Reuters Limited.
NOTE: For more telecom/internet/networking/computer news from the
daily media, check out our feature 'Telecom Digest Extra' each day at
http://telecom-digest.org/td-extra/more-news.html . Hundreds of new
articles daily. And, discuss this and other topics in our forum at
For more news and headlines, please go to: