Monday, September 22, 2008
Microsoft Corp.'s most technologically advanced data center opens today in Westover Hills.
It's a massive $550 million, 470,000-square-foot building that will contain thousands of computer servers, which will begin serving up e-mail, Web pages, pictures, software applications and videos to customers online.
“San Antonio is a key hub for Microsoft in its North American distribution system,'' said Mike Manos, Microsoft's senior director of data center services.
Microsoft has built two nearly identical buildings under one roof on its 44-acre site. The servers in the first building go live today. The second half of the building is almost done, Manos said. It's expected to be complete within the next few months, he said.
Microsoft's facility with 75 employees also has helped to ignite a data center building boom in Westover Hills. Six other companies — Frost, PowerLoft, Stream Realty, Lowe's Corp., Valero Corp. and Christus Health — have projects under way or planned there.
“In general, we'll be a key player in the growth of the Internet and related businesses, and Microsoft makes that possible,'' said Mario Hernandez, president of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation.
Since Microsoft announced in January 2007 plans to build its project here, interest in San Antonio as a site for data centers has skyrocketed, Hernandez said.
“We're still getting the attention of data center projects throughout the country,'' he said. “We've got another data center project visiting next week. It's the exception to the slowdown we are seeing in corporate site selection.”