Facebook plants server farm in IA not CA

facebook-altoona-illustratiApril 24, 2013

By John Seiler

California remains a fantastic place if you have a 180 IQ and an entrepreneurial spirit. You move to Silicon Valley, live and work in a closet and devour Coke and pizza until you make your first $1 billion. Then move into a mansion and drive a Bentley. California’s notoriously high taxes? That’s for accountants to figure out how you don’t have to pay them.

For those of us with IQs < 180, it’s time to move to Iowa. That’s where Facebook is building its new server firm, which will generate thousands of construction jobs; and when it’s finished thousands of jobs for maintenance, programming, engineering, etc. for those not able to join the Silicon Valley empyrean.

Wrote Vice President of Infrastructure Engineering Jay Parikh in a blog on the Facebook site on Apr. 22:

“Today we’re thrilled to announce that Altoona, Iowa, will be the home for Facebook’s newest data center.

“For most people, Facebook is something pretty simple. It’s a service you visit every day to connect with the people and things you care about. But behind the scenes, Facebook is a global service of immense scale and complexity — over 1 billion people use Facebook every month, and every day there are more than 2.7 billion Likes and over 2.4 billion content items shared with friends.

“In the coming years, as our service continues to grow and people share and connect in more ways, we need to make sure that our technical infrastructure also continues to scale. Our goal is not just to deliver you a fast, reliable experience on Facebook every day — we also want to help make connectivity a universal opportunity. Our data centers are essential for making that happen.

“Altoona will be our fourth owned and operated data center, and our third in the United States. (The others are in Prineville, Oregon; Forest City, North Carolina; and Luleå, Sweden.)”

Note that none of the four data centers is in California. This will not get tallied as a “business that leaves California.” Rather, it’s one that never came here — and never would come here.

That data center was planned months ago. But Iowa Gov. Terry Brandstad was trolling for more California jobs in his trip here two months ago. He said, “The state’s in a financial mess. Taxes are going up. There’s a lot of uncertainty.” After talking to California businesses, he said, “They’re saying the California business climate is bad, and getting worse.”

It takes a lot to drag somebody away from the beach and the sun to the corn fields and frozen tundra. But the Hawkeye state welcomes businesses and jobs instead of repelling them.



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