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Microsoft opens San Antonio data center

What they say about bigger things in Texas--it's true. The latest of the company's mega cloud-computing facilities cost $550 million to establish and takes up nearly half a million square feet.

Microsoft on Monday officially opened its San Antonio, Texas, data center, the latest in a string of giant facilities aimed at powering Microsoft consumer and business online services.

The company said the data center occupies nearly half a million square feet and cost $550 million to establish.

Microsoft touted some of the environmental features of the facility, including the fact that it is using 8 million gallons of recycled water per month as part of its cooling system.

"Microsoft looked at 31 variables in narrowing its site selection to San Antonio, including the availability of fiber-optic networks, affordable energy rates, and a work-life balance for our employees that the city offered," Microsoft General Manager Mike Manos said in a statement.

The facility joins other Microsoft data centers, including one in Quincy, Wash. Another site, due to open later this year in the Chicago area, will be Microsoft's first to employ containers of servers, in addition to traditional rack-based set-ups.

Microsoft also recently announced plans to build a center in West Des Moines, Iowa.