Facebook is planning to build a $1 billion data center project in Altoona, Iowa, in addition to the centres in Oregon and North Carolina. The new data center is expected to cover 1.4 million square feet and serve as what the company says will be “the most advanced data center in the world.”
The Des Moines Register, quoting sources in the state legislature, said the data center, code-named “Catapult,” will be built in two $500 million phases. When completed the total cost of the data center is expected to hit $1.5billion.
Facebook has emerged as a leader for how data centers are developed.Like a lot of Internet-scale companies, Facebook developed its own methods for building out data centers and the servers that go in these massive digital factories. It’s embodied in the Open Compute Project, which Facebook has been driving to get more innovation and efficiencies in data center build outs. This involves everything from heating and cooling to the way racks are designed to hold the server blades. They even had a data center hacking session at its last OpenComputer event.
Data centers are also becoming symbolic of the social and political ramifications that come with building out this new form of programmable infrastructure. These data centers are tangible, physical representations of the Internet and the way we use data. And even though they employ relatively few people, their presence provides regions, like the one in Iowa, with ways to transform their economies beyond their farming and industrial roots.