How happy should a rural community be when a large corporation decides to build a data center there? Very happy, if we have to believe the local press. Large facility equals large investment equals jobs equals opportunities for the inhabitants, right?

Not so, according to ZDNet's blogger David Chernicoff in a sharp clear post. The problem is that data centers tend to be designed in a way so they do not need much staff to begin with. Even the largest facilities can come around with a crew of 20 or so people. Even those jobs go to people from the outside, as they involve special skills that the company deems necessary.

Actually, to take Chernicoff's arguments further, the local community had to pay a price to allow the data center to be built in the form of rebates and grants. And each tax penny that is not collected, has to be compensated by someone else.

So is there no benefit? Chernicoff only comes up with construction, as this will create temporary jobs in the area. Other than that, zip.

However, he forgets something small. The people from the outside that are coming in, come to live in the community. The data center business does not tend to attract the penniless, so it could help boost something. But even considering this, Chernicoff makes a strong case in debunking the 'data center is great for the community' story. Which is too bad, really.

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