Dev

Hope you like corn! Facebook builds another data center in Iowa

Facebook servers Leslie Hawthorn Flickr

Your cutesy little Facebook thumbnail has to live somewhere. Might as well be Iowa.

As more people use Facebook, the social network needs to ensure it serves up pictures, videos, profiles, and other content to its user base. And as more marketers get sold on Facebook as a marketing and advertising tool, the company needs to handle requests and targets ads on the spot. Thus the news today that Facebook is doubling its data center footprint in Altoona, Iowa, northeast of Des Moines.

Little Altoona, home to 15,000-something people and a 476,000-square-foot Facebook bit barn, will now get another one of those buildings, according to a blog post Facebook published today.

Facebook also runs data centers in Sweden, Oregon, and North Carolina, with nifty custom hardware built just for Facebook specs. The site had 1.27 billion monthly active users as of March 31, 2014.

But Facebook really likes Iowa. It’s got access to renewable wind energy, access to people who are eager to work, and low prices for land (compared to, say, Facebook’s Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters). The build-out will run Facebook $300 million, the Des Moines Register reports.

Incidentally, Microsoft likes the cornfields of Iowa as well. It just announced a $1.1 billion data center expansion in the city of West Des Moines.

And Google runs a data center in the Iowa city of Council Bluffs, along the Nebraska border.


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