The Politics of Data Centers: NY, Texas, Missouri

State officials in New York continue to battle over where to build a new $99 million state data center, more than three years after taking up the issue. Meanwhile, Texas works to restructure its huge consolidation project with IBM, and Missouri considers tax incentives to attract more data centers.

In recent years we've seen data centers become embroiled in state politics on topics such as whether to build new state data centers to manage citizens' tax and benefit issues, where to put those data centers, who to hire to operate them, and whether to offer tax incentives to establish a state as a destination for development. This week we've data center make headlines in several states.

New York: It's been more than three years since we first reported on the infighting among New York State legislators about where to build a new state data center. Well, they're still fighting. The Albany Times-Union reports that officials are still battling over the site location dispute. The NY state Office of General Services is evaluating 18 proposals by developers to build a 72,000 square-foot data center for the state's Office for Technology. The leading contenders for the $99 million project are sites in Utica and the Mohawk Valley.

Texas: On Tuesday, state officials released an "agreement in principle" for restructuring an $863 million contract with IBM to consolidate the data centers of 27 state agencies into two streamlined and upgraded facilities, according to the Austin Statesman. The huge project was launched in 2007 but has been plagued by delays and equipment failures.

Missouri: The state General Assembly in Missouri hopes to consider targeted tax incentives that will help the state attract more data center projects. Business groups, including the Missouri Coalition for Data Centers, hope to build upon a cluster of enterprise disaster recovery data centers in the Kansas City, and boost interest in the development of the state's abundant supply of limestone caves as data center facilities. Missouri is home to several existing underground data bunkers, including The Mountain Complex near Branson and the Springnet Underground in Springfield.

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