Google's Iowa Data Center Emerges - InformationWeek

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3/4/2008
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John Foley
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Google's Iowa Data Center Emerges

On the site of a former drive-in movie theater in Council Bluffs, Iowa, a new Google data center is approaching the midpoint of a two-year construction project. The data center will eventually house thousands of servers, in effect becoming Google's Midwest nerve center.

On the site of a former drive-in movie theater in Council Bluffs, Iowa, a new Google data center is approaching the midpoint of a two-year construction project. The data center will eventually house thousands of servers, in effect becoming Google's Midwest nerve center.A dirt lot 10 months ago, the under-construction facility is beginning to look more like the $600 million high-tech center it will become. Photos taken at the location show the data center's progress since the project began last June. Check out our photo gallery below.

Council Bluffs is located in western Pottawattamie County, across the Missouri River from Omaha. Last November, Google data center manager Ken Patchett outlined the company's plans at a meeting of the Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce. "From a networking standpoint, you're in the hub of America," Patchett said, according to the Des Moines Register.

The data center is located on a 55-acre site near Lake Manawa. The search giant has purchased another 130 acres in close proximity and 1,000 acres south of town, though it hasn't disclosed how those properties will be used.

Photographer Joshua White with local paper The Daily Nonpareil has been documenting Google's project. His pictures reveal that the main building is almost complete, roads are being paved, and installation of related infrastructure is under way.

Some local landmarks are getting bulldozed to make room for Google. A drive-in movie screen was the first to go. The nearby Presbyterian Church is slated for demolition, too.

Google has new data centers under construction in other states as well, including North Carolina, South Carolina, and Oklahoma. Company officials tend to discuss their plans in meetings with local residents and media. See my earlier post, "Google's Data Center Strategy Revealed ... At The Rotary Club."

Google's own bare-bones Web site on the Council Bluffs data center is here.



Rooftop cooling system installed as Google's new data center takes shape in Council Bluffs, Iowa. (Click picture to see the full gallery of 19 pictures.)



Crane lifts a section of wall into place. (Click picture to see the full gallery of 19 pictures.)

Here's a look at another Google operation. Last summer, I gave myself a tour around Google's new data center in Oregon. We have pictures of that facility, too.

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