Google Makes Moves in Asia Data Center Market

16 Dec 2013 by Technology

"Google recently made several announcements that cement the tech giant's data center footprint in the Asia-Pacific market. The company announced the opening of two data centers, in Singapore and Taiwan, and also halted progress on a plan to build a facility in Hong Kong. As the Asia-Pacific market continues to experience rapid growth, the moves by one of today's top data center companies are likely to have trickle-down effect on others' decision making.

Google Opens Taiwan and Singapore Data Centers
Google's Singapore and Taiwan facilities are now in operation, Google vice president of data centers Joe Kava wrote in a blog post. The facilities, initially announced two years ago, are the company's first in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Taiwan facility, the larger of the two, was built on 37 acres of land in Changhua County, about a three hour's commute from Taipei, Kava wrote. The company's investment in the facility is expected to reach about $600 million. Onsite energy efficiency technologies include several 328-foot (100 meter) wind turbines and a storage cooling system that operates mostly at night, when outside temperatures are lowest.

""We built this to be one of Asia's most efficient and environmentally friendly data centers,"" Kava wrote.

Google's Singapore facility is smaller in size but offers intriguing data center space considerations. While most data centers sprawl horizontally, the Singapore data center is built upwards in order to save room in its urban locale. Could this be the rise of the skyscraper data center? Google certainly designed the data center with futuristic considerations in mind - the facility has a robotic theme, complete with an 882 pounds (400 kilograms) robot sculpture made by a Taiwanese artist from scrap metal.

Company Halts Hong Kong Data Center Plans
Google also decided to put an end to a project to erect a data center in Hong Kong. In a statement to The Wall Street Journal, Google Asia-Pacific policy communications manager Taj Meadows said that cost and land availability led the company to table its plans at a 6.6-acre site originally procured by Google from the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation in 2011. However, Meadows indicated that Google was not abandoning its efforts to establish a greater technological and services footprint in the country.

""While we see tremendous opportunity and potential in Hong Kong'¦we will not be moving ahead with this project,"" Meadows wrote. ""To keep up with the rapid growth in users and usage across the region, we need to focus on locations where we can build for economies of scale.""

Asia-Pacific ICT Spending to Accelerate
IT and data center services will be in demand in the Asia-Pacific region as ICT spending is projected to rise there, according to the International Data Corporation. Excluding Japan, Asia-Pacific market growth is expected to rise at a rate of 8.7 percent in 2014, up from an anticipated 6.6 percent this year. Big data, the Internet of Things and software-defined infrastructure are seen as main growth drivers, while the breadth of cloud services will expand to cover more areas of enterprise IT."

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