Feeds

Microsoft invades 'city of friendly people'

$500m data center adds to good cheer

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

No desperate city is safe from the data center builders employed by Microsoft and Google.

Microsoft has announced plans for another $500m server and storage farm - this time in the Chicago suburb Northlake, the "city of friendly people." The US data center complements a $500m plant going up in Dublin and others already in place in Quincy, Washington and San Antonio, Texas.

It seems that $500- $600m is the going rate for mega data centers. Google has been crafting a number of similar centers all around the country.

It's no secret that Microsoft, Google, Yahoo! and a couple others have locked into a battle to build out their data center infrastructures as quickly as possible. Obviously, these companies need a lot of hardware to support basics such as their search ambitions. The companies, however, are also laying the groundwork for a flood of software-over-the-network type services.

The mainstream press appears fascinated with these data Goliaths - so much so that hacks resort to painful jokes as they attempt to get across the scale to non-tech readers.

For example, Microsoft's partner for the Northlake center Ascent put its CEO on the horn with a Chicago Sun-Times scribe. The result?

A soccer fan, (the CEO Phil Horstmann) described the center as the "Wembley stadium" of data centers, referring to the large stadium in Britain.

Wembley? Make that Web-ley stadium.

Is there no God?

The web giants tend to pick their mega-center locations based on access to cheap power.

"We prospected the site and found that unique intersection of available land with a lot of power, a lot of water, and close proximity to bandwidth," another Ascent executive told InformationWeek.

In many cases, the service providers also receive generous tax breaks for bringing their business to depressed towns or run down parts of larger cities. Rarely, however, do the mega centers result in many jobs, since it takes only a couple dozen folks to make sure the servers and storage hardware are up and running. ®

Register editor Ashlee Vance has just pumped out a new book that's a guide to Silicon Valley. The book starts with the electronics pioneers present in the Bay Area in the early 20th century and marches up to today's heavies. Want to know where Gordon Moore eats Chinese food, how unions affected the rise of microprocessors or how Fairchild Semiconductor got its start? This is the book for you - available at Amazon US here or in the UK here.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Wanna keep your data for 1,000 YEARS? No? Hard luck, HDS wants you to anyway
Combine Blu-ray and M-DISC and you get this monster
US boffins demo 'twisted radio' mux
OAM takes wireless signals to 32 Gbps
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Apple flops out 2FA for iCloud in bid to stop future nude selfie leaks
Millions of 4chan users howl with laughter as Cupertino slams stable door
Students playing with impressive racks? Yes, it's cluster comp time
The most comprehensive coverage the world has ever seen. Ever
Run little spreadsheet, run! IBM's Watson is coming to gobble you up
Big Blue's big super's big appetite for big data in big clouds for big analytics
Seagate's triple-headed Cerberus could SAVE the DISK WORLD
... and possibly bring us even more HAMR time. Yay!
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.