Microsoft investing $700m in Iowa data centre

Microsoft investing $700m in Iowa data centre
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

June 24th 2013 at 11:10AM

Expanded facilities to help power Xbox Live and cloud capabilities for Xbox One

Microsoft is set to investment $700 million in a new data centre in West Des Moines, Iowa.

As part of the deal with the Iowa Economic Development Authority Board, the state has approved $20 million in tax credits for the computing giant for what has been termed ‘Project Mountain’.

The new data centres will likely be added on to its facilities in the region, bringing total investment in local data centre’s from Microsoft to nearly $1 billion.

The expanded data centre presence in the region will support Xbox Live and Office 365.

In a statement to Des Moines Register, Microsoft data centre services general manager Christian Belady said “the expansion supports the growing demand for Microsoft’s cloud services”, and that it represented “our latest in efficient data centre thinking”.

The new data centres will likely help power the Xbox Live and cloud services touted by Microsoft for its upcoming next-gen console, the Xbox One.

During its unveiling on May 21st, Microsoft boasted the new Xbox Live service will be powered by 300,000 servers, which it claimed is more than the entire world’s computing power in 1999.

The original Xbox Live by comparison was powered by around 500 servers. Today’s Xbox Live stands at 15,000.

Xbox incubation and prototyping group manager Jeff Henshaw has also claimed that through the console’s cloud services, developers can expect extra CPU and storage capabilities equivalent to three extra consoles. He explained this would help developers create bigger, persistent worlds.

"We're doing that flat out so that any game developer can assume that there's roughly three times the resources immediately available to their game, so they can build bigger, persistent levels that are more inclusive for players. They can do that out of the gate," he said.