Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) on Monday opened the doors of a massive data center in central Washington, turning what was once a bean farm into a "server farm."
The data center, based in Quincy, Wash., is about 474,000 square feet and is surrounded on three sides by fields of potatoes, beans and broccoli. An undisclosed number of servers inside are now online, handling Internet traffic to Microsoft's Hotmail email program, instant messaging and other tools.
The server farm is the first of six Microsoft has planned for Quincy; construction of No. 2 is under way, but beyond that, growth will be "tied to adoption of online services," said Michael Manos, a senior director of data center services at Microsoft.