Two days ago, Microsoft announced its fourth quarter earnings report for the fiscal year 2016 and the company's Intelligent Cloud Business was one of the many highlights: Azure revenue notably grew by 102% in the quarter (up 108% CC), with Azure compute usage more than doubling year-over-year. As the Redmond giant is successfully transitioning from a software vendor to a mobile-first, cloud-first company, Microsoft is going to need more and more data centers to sustain its growing cloud business around the world.
Of course, the company is well aware that it needs to expand its data center and cloud services investments to meet growing global demand. Earlier this month, we reported that the company was leasing data centers in Virginia, but it seems that Microsoft plans to keep expanding its cloud data center capabilities in the United States: according to a new report from The Des Moines Register, the company is preparing to build a new data center in West Des Moines, Iowa, which will actually be its third in the region (via MSPoweruser).
A spokeswoman for the Iowa Economic Development Authority told the journal that the project dubbed "Project Osmium" will be a multi-stage data center and will be located on the southwest side of West Des Moines, occupying land in both Madison and Warren counties. Microsoft is reportedly ready to invest $417.7 million in the first phase of the project, and the company has also applied for $4.7 million in state incentives in the form of a service or use tax refund to the before Iowa Economic Development Authority Board. To get the state funds, the company will have to create 57 jobs, with 11 of them paying at least $27.92 an hour.
According to the report, the two other company's data centers in the area are still under construction (the first one went under construction in 2008 and the second one was announced in 2014). With this third project, Microsoft's total investment in the region is expected to be one of the most important private investments in Iowa.