Microsoft is planning a $500 million data center in Dublin, Ireland, according to reports in the Irish press (link via Venu). The project near the Grange Castle in west Dublin is expected to create about 250 jobs. The plans aren't expected to be finalized until later this year, but Microsoft is acknowledging that it will locate a data center in Ireland.
"We can confirm that Ireland has been selected as the preferred location for the development of a data centre, which would meet the growing demand for our online services," Microsoft (MSFT) told The Post in a statement. "However, final confirmation for this project is yet to be secured and therefore it is inappropriate to provide any further details at this time."
Dublin is one of the hottest data center markets in Europe. Digital Realty Trust (DLR) has announced a 120,000 square foot greenfields data center project in Dublin. Digital Realty already owns two existing facilities spanning 140,000 square feet that are fully leased, with gross annual rents between $70 and $80 per square foot. Ireland is an attractive destination for data centers because it has a trained IT workforce and good connectivity. Microsoft has had operations in Ireland since 1985 and employs 1,200 full-time staff and about 700 contractors at four centres in Dublin, including a European operations centre and a product development centre, according to Irish news accounts.
Microsoft recently opened the first phase of a 470,000 square foot data center in Quincy, Washington to support is Live family of online services, and has announced plans for a similar $550 million data center in San Antonio. Microsoft executives said recently that the company has been adding as many as 20,000 servers per quarter to its infrastructure.
There have also been reports that Microsoft was scouting locations in Iceland, which has been actively marketing itself as a destination for data centers due to its abundant supply of geothermal power.
Microsoft is seeking to scale its online services due to competition from Google, which has been busy with a buildong boom of its own, including plans for a $340 million data center in Belgium and rumors of a second facility in Amsterdam. That, of course, is in addition to its announcements of new data centers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Oklahoma.