Server Farms: The Hot New Land Use

The Washington farmland town of Quincy has signed deals with Yahoo and Microsoft to house huge new Internet data centers -- server farms -- and land prices are spiking. Low power costs and high connectivity can create a 'technology gold rush'.
June 7, 2006, 1pm PDT | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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"The land boom illustrates the point at which cyberspace intersects with terra firma. There is an increasing shortage of facilities equipped to massage, transmit, and store the data flowing from the surge in Web-based software and services.

...If more server farms aren't built -- and a state-of-the-art data center can cost up to $1,000 a square foot, five times the cost of conventional office space -- the squeeze might even crimp the ability of Net up-and-comers to bring new innovations to market.

...This shortage is coming as a shock to not a few Net outfits. During the booming late '90s, companies such as Exodus Communications, AboveNet, and MCI built hundreds of server farms on the assumption that Web business had nowhere to go but up. After the bust left many players wallowing in debt, empty facilities could be purchased for pennies on the dollar, so few new ones were built.

Now, though, that excess capacity has been absorbed. Equinix has announced plans to build two massive centers, in Los Angeles and Chicago. Real estate developers such as Digital Realty Trust and Washington (D.C.)-based DuPont Fabros Development are expanding dozens of existing facilities. ..."

Thanks to Michael Jelks

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Published on Monday, June 12, 2006 in BusinessWeek
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