Savvis, the business data center subsidiary of CenturyLink Inc., will build a 100,000-square-foot data center in Shakopee next spring.

The Savvis data center, like others in the Twin Cities, is essentially an outsourcing business that helps corporate customers run all or part of their computer operations as part of what is called "cloud computing." It can house a customer firm's computers, software and data.

CenturyLink, based in Monroe, La., became Minnesota's largest phone company after its acquisition of Denver-based Qwest Communications in 2011. Savvis, based in St. Louis, was acquired by CenturyLink the same year. The two companies have a combined total of 2,200 employees in the Twin Cities.

CenturyLink declined to say how many new jobs will be created at the Shakopee data center, located on a 10-acre tract of land, or how many people already work at a smaller data center Savvis and CenturyLink operate in Bloomington.

The company did say that only 13 percent of the new data center's floor space will be put to use initially. It offered no timetable for when the center might operate at full capacity.

Savvis hopes the Shakopee data center will attract corporate customers who want to use cloud computing but also need to know where their data is physically located.

Some customer firms, such as health care companies, are required by government regulations to know exactly where sensitive data, such as patient medical records, are being stored. Without such a customer request, Savvis could accept data at its Shakopee data center but store it in any one of its more than 50 data centers around the world.

"Increasingly more customers request a local data center presence and this site is helping to meet those needs," said Duane Ring, CenturyLink's Midwest president, who is based in Minneapolis.

The Shakopee data center also will cater to corporate customers that only want to put part of their computer operations off-site while keeping the rest in their own facilities.