The Fields of Data Center Dreams: Roads, Wind Farms Turn Iowa into Very Attractive Corn Fields

By Mike Allen

Posted On July 09, 2014


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Microsoft, Facebook, Google, IBM, et al spends billions to build them, QTS spends billions to retro-fit them and now Iowa is spending millions to build roads to them – datacenters might just be the modern-day equivalent of Roosevelt’s “New Deal.”  As the world digs out from the “great recession – er 2nd depression”, the world is investing millions and billions of dollars on the infrastructure to store the gold of today: data.

As that lofty, nebulous cloud becomes bigger and bigger and drifts quickly by: datacenter builders are now shifting focus to the infrastructure that comes along with building a data center: power stations, alternative power sources and now roads to get to the data center.

If You Built They Will Come

Iowa already boasts two of the jewels in the data center crown: Facebook’s Altoona, Iowa data center and its nearby Wellsburg, Iowa wind farm (one that is reported by Facebook as “Carbon Neutral” – for more on that click here) – so it’s one of those “if you built it they will come” sort of deals.  It’s not that simple though, building wind farms and roads mean jobs and a boost to the economy of the state and the country: as Iowa is not the only place that will require more highways to get to the data centers and its power supplies.

So how much is the road going to cost; The Iowa Transportation Commission approved more than $3.51 million for a road project at the new Microsoft data center planned in West Des Moines. The roads will provide access to more than 280 acres that are being developed for professional office and data center purposes, officials said.  The project is expected to be completed by October 2015.

The Location of the Road that will Lead to Microsoft’s Newest Data CenterAdditionally, with Microsoft spending $1.13 billion on its newest data center in Iowa, having the state kick in $3.51 million seems like Iowa and their wind farms are making it more and more palatable to build datacenters in a state who received the dubious distinction of just being a state of corn fields, by a movie (an Oscar nominated movie “Field of Dreams” – if you haven’t seen it check it out.)

One of our favorite quotes between the husband and wife in the movie:

Ray Kinsella: The Voice is back.

Annie Kinsella: Oh, Lord. You’re supposed to build a football field now?

Maybe Mrs. Kinsella should be glad she doesn’t have to watch her husband level the corn for a road or a datacenter.

For more information on all things datacenters and movie quotes visit us at datacenters.com  or call one of our experts at  (877) 406-2248.


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Mike Allen

Microsoft, Facebook, Google, IBM, et al spends billions to build them, QTS spends billions to retro-fit them and now Iowa is spending millions to build roads to them – datacenters might just be the modern-day equivalent of Roosevelt’s “New Deal.” As the world digs out from the “great recession – ...