Iowa’s Fields of Digital Dreams

I knew that Microsoft was planning to build a large data storage facility in Iowa, but I was a little surprised to see that they will virtually be neighbors with me!

I’ve mentioned a few times before on this blog that besides doing information security, privacy and compliance work I am also a farmer; one of the fields my husband farms (soybeans, corn and hay this year) is just across the road from where they will be building the Microsoft data center! Or, as they call it in the news report, the data “farm.”
I know that area quite well. Currently the land is a sod farm field. It is bordered on two sides by gravel roads, on another side by another field (in corn this year), and on another side a narrow grove of trees with the railroad running on the other side of the trees. The folks who work there will get to see the train pass by at least once a day, some days more often.
There is an electricity power station on that property, so I imagine that factored into their decision to locate there. There are also some great locations to put up some wind generators in that area.
It will be very interesting to watch them build the facility. Particularly to see the kind of physical security they put in, as well as how good their exterior disposal practices are.
This West Des Moines field is not the only place where portions of the west coast are migrating into Iowa; Google is also building a data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Iowa is a great place to live! No, we don’t get floods every year. šŸ™‚
But we do have some of the very best schools and educational opportunities in the nation. The Microsoft facility will be just a short distance from an almost new community college, so there could be some good collaboration opportunities there. Plus the cost of living is comparatively low, crime is low, people are for the most part very friendly, and there is a strong work ethic and sense of community.

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