Posted By Rich Miller On August 27, 2012 @ 10:33 am In Apple,Las Vegas,Switch SuperNAPs | 1 Comment
Nevada officials want your data to stay in Vegas. Or perhaps Reno, or other areas of the state, which is touting data centers as a growth sector as it seeks to diversify its economy. That effort, built atop the success of the SuperNAP in Las Vegas, has gained momentum from Apple’s decision to build a huge server farm near Reno.
The Las Vegas tourism business was hit hard by the economic crisis of 2008, as businesses and consumers cut back on spending. That had a ripple effect that impacted hotels, casinos and the construction market. Looking for options to diversify the state’s economy, Nevada economic development officials focused on a home-grown company that was quietly creating an electronic empire in Las Vegas.
Switch began building a series of colocation centers in Las Vegas in 2000, and in 2008 unveiled the SuperNAP, its 400,000 square foot vision for the future of high-density computing. In 2011 the company announced plans for a huge expansion  to its Las Vegas operations.
Nevada officials’ embrace of Switch, which was highlighted by CBS Evening News  and The Economist  in January, has been one factor in the bustling activity on the state’s data center scene. “Nevada now points to Switch as the model of the kind of businesses it wants to attract,” noted CBS correspondent Anthony Mason. Six months later, that’s exactly what happened, when Apple chose the Reno Technology Park  for its next $1 billion data center project.
“For a state eager to boost its tech chops, the Apple and NJVC projects, combined with Switch Communications’ large data center in southern Nevada and the addition of two new data center projects at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center, represent much-needed progress,” the Reno Gazette-Journal  noted in a piece this past weekend. “Now, the state’s recent success has some people hopeful it could kickstart Nevada’s entry as a serious player in the data center industry.”
Here’s a look at the data center industry activity in Nevada over the past year:
How much do data centers developments boost the local economy? Many communities are eager to attract data center projects, but struggle to define the economic benefits of these facilities. Jobs have always been the primary benchmark by which economic development projects are measured. Incentive packages offered by state and local governments are often based on the number of full-time jobs created by a new business.
This model doesn’t work out well for data centers, which are typically highly automated, allowing a small number of workers to operate a large facility. A new data center can bring a large capital investment into a town, but create a much smaller number of jobs than a factory or office property of a similar size.
Some local officials like this scenario, since data center projects can attract a large ratable without adding significant traffic or large numbers of children to the local school system – two areas where large new businesses can create costs and headaches for municipalities. Others are less comfortable offering incentives to companies for buildings that will house electronics rather than people.
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URL to article: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2012/08/27/nevada-touts-its-data-centers-as-key-to-revival/
URLs in this post:
 huge expansion: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2011/01/10/an-epic-super-sizing-for-the-supernap/
 CBS Evening News: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2012/01/30/supernap-featured-on-cbs-evening-news/
 The Economist: http://www.economist.com/node/21542451
 Reno Technology Park: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2010/11/15/large-reno-project-to-generate-its-own-power/
 Reno Gazette-Journal: http://www.rgj.com/article/20120826/BIZ/308260016/Nevada-focuses-data-centers
 Apple: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2012/06/26/apple-plans-huge-data-center-near-reno/
 Switch: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2011/10/04/switch-building-bigger-with-huge-vegas-expansion/
 northern Las Vegas: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2011/12/02/switch-plans-major-new-campus-in-north-las-vegas/
 NJVC: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2012/07/20/reno-gets-another-data-center/
 ViaWest: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2012/08/20/viawest-buys-corelinks-las-vegas-data-center/
 10 megawatt data center: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2012/05/24/viawest-leases-10-mw-facility-in-las-vegas/
 Pair Networks: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2011/07/15/pair-plans-grid-zero-data-center-in-las-vegas/
 Cobalt Data Centers: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2011/09/20/cobalt-plans-las-vegas-data-center-project/
 Rich Miller: http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/author/richm/
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