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WEST DES MOINES, IA-Redmond, WA-based Microsoft has announced that this community will be the home of its fifth new data center to launch in the past 18 months. The $500 million facility will house servers that keep the company’s Internet services humming, such as search engines and email. The design hasn’t been revealed, but the company is expected to continue its use of shipping containers with hard-wired servers already ready to plug-and-play into the building.

The property is going on a 42-acre site southwest of the Booneville Road and Xavier Place intersection. The company is also going into similar data centers in Northlake, IL; San Antonio, Quincy, WA and Dublin, Ireland. The property here will be modeled like the others, such as the Chicago-area site, which will have up to 220 containers with up to 2,000 servers each. The software company has increased its efficiency from connecting one server at a time, to large containers full of servers connected all at once.

A company spokesman tells GlobeSt.com that the firm will hire 50 engineers to staff the data center. “Microsoft made a strategic decision to design, construct and own our centers to allow us greater control our power efficiency and related environmental impacts,” the spokesman says. He says more details haven’t been decided, including a completion timeline.

The company has sought incentives in other communities with the new data centers. However, an Iowa spokeswoman tells GlobeSt.com that the company has not submitted an application for financial or tax incentives. The state already agreed to incentives on electricity, computer equipment and cooling towers. “The addition of companies such as Microsoft and Google (which is also building a data center) illustrate the continued growth of Iowa’s information technology sector and the attractiveness of Iowa’s business climate, quality of life and strong workforce, says Michael Tramontina, director of the Iowa Department of Economic Development.

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