In Iowa, A Field Becomes a Billion-Dollar Google Server Farm

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An overhead view of the server infrastructure in Google's data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa. (Photo: Connie Zhou for Google)

An overhead view of the server infrastructure in Google’s data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa. (Photo: Connie Zhou for Google)

Google’s decision to build big in Iowa has been good for the local economy in Council Bluffs. The company has created 130 full-time jobs, as well as hundreds of construction jobs as it steadily builds out its campus.

In 2010, Google entered into a long-term contract to purchase wind energy from NextEra Energy Resources. Google is investing directly in the RPM wind project, which has been contracted to sell all of the energy to the Central Iowa Power Cooperative, an Iowa-based utility that will deliver the energy to local consumers.

Here’s a look at the inside of Google’s first Council Bluffs facility, via a photo gallery the company published last year.

google-iowa-tape

Google maintains large storage archives that back up user data to tape. (Photo: Connie Zhou for Google)

Rows of networking equipment inside a Google data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa. (Photo for Google by Connie Zhou)

Rows of networking equipment inside a Google data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa. (Photo: Connie Zhou for Google)

google-iowa-antennas

Satellite arrays like these in Council Bluffs are the primary signal source for hundreds of Google Fiber’s national TV channels, the company says. (Photo: Connie Zhou for Google)

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor-in-chief of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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  1. This is quite impressive. 3 buildings with 9 generator groups each. That 57 MW if each group is a pair of 1 MW generator (most likely 1.5~2MVA, but let's be conservative here). At 250W per server and a PUE of 1.1 (current Google fleet TTM PUE) that's enough to house 196,000 servers (or google rack units if you provide 250 watts to servers and storage bays alike).