Originally posted to Data Center Frontier by Rich Miller.

Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 11.51.57 AMYou don’t hear the “server farm” jokes much anymore. Nine years after its first major data center project was announced, Iowa has attracted one of the world’s largest clusters of hyperscale data centers. The state’s cloud campuses have attracted nearly $7 billion in investment, creating thousands of construction jobs and boosting the state’s infrastructure.

The latest sign of Iowa’s central place in cloud geography came last week, when it was revealed that Microsoft will invest up to $2 billion in a new data center in West Des Moines, where it already operates two huge data center campuses. Local officials said “Project Osmium” would boost Microsoft’s total investment in West Des Moines to nearly $3.5 billion.

“Project Osmium will be the largest data center deployment Microsoft has ever built in the United States,” said West Des Moines Mayor Steve Gaer.

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