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Amazon cops to stalled data center

'$135m' facility on hold

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Amazon has acknowledged that it's behind the 116,700-square-foot data center no longer under construction on the banks of the Columbia River in Boardman, Oregon.

After construction began on the $135m facility last year, a local paper pegged Amazon as the tenant. But only now, as weeds pop up around the unfinished facility, has the web giant confirmed its ownership. The data center is officially owned by an outfit dubbed Vadata, but speaking with Information Week, Amazon acknowledged that Vadata is a legal entity that belongs to Amazon.

In a statement, the company told The Reg much the same thing. "We continuously evaluate the requirements for our infrastructure capacity and are judicious in our investment decisions," a spokeswoman said. "While we are continually adding resources to support our customers, we don’t disclose specific locations for security reasons and don’t comment on rumors and speculation."

That said, Amazon has previously disclosed data centers in Ashburn, Virginia; Dallas/Fort Worth; Los Angeles; Miami; Newark, New Jersey; Palo Alto, California; Seattle; St. Louis; Amsterdam; Dublin; Frankfurt; London; Hong Kong; and Tokyo. And for what it's worth, our request was forwarded to the spokeswoman who oversees Amazon Web Services, the company's so-called compute cloud.

In November last year, according to local sources, the Boardman, Oregon facility carried a price tag upwards of $135m - $35m for construction and more than $100m for computing equipment. But like Google and Microsoft, Amazon is apparently slowing the expansion of its data center empire.

The Boardman Chamber of Commerce tells Info Week that construction has halted on Amazon's data center until sometime next year, citing, yes, poor economic conditions.

But as the Boardman site sits idle, Amazon has purchased a 110,000 square foot property in North Virginia, according to Data Center Knowledge. Like the neighboring North Carolina - where Apple is building its $1bn behemoth - Virginia recently passed new laws meant to lure data-center-building web giants.

Some have also speculated that Amazon is focusing efforts on Virginia in an effort to backing its fledgling AWS Federal offering, a service tailored to hosting government apps and infrastructure in the proverbial cloud.

It so happens that federal CIO Vivek Kundra is slated to make some sort of cloudy announcement tomorrow at NASA's Ames Air Force. But Ames is just down the road from another cloud-obsessed web giant. You know the one. ®

Clarification: The sub-headline of this story has been changed to make it clearer that Amazon has not put its entire AWS cloud "on hold." As the body of the story explains, only construction of the single data center has been put on hold.

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