Google will invest at least $1 billion in a 1 million square foot data center in a special economic zone in Andhra Pradesh, according to reports from SDA Asia and Ars Technica). While many American IT companies have located large call centers in India, the new Google center will be an Internet data center. A nugget from Ars Technica:
Sources say that Google’s expansion isn’t a call center, but a data center. The facility is supposed to act as a concentrator for Google access, including GMail, search results, cached data, and so forth, that will make access to the services faster and more reliable for surfers in south Asia.
The expansion comes as technology trade pubs are starting to focus more closely on Google’s infrastructure spending following updated capital spending projections in the company’s second quarter earnings. We covered this back on July 21 (see Google’s Data Center Spending to Accelerate), but no less than Information Week is writing that Google’s data center spending “could crimp its finances.”
Why is Google investing so much on infrastructure? Because it believes every dollar spent provides it with a competitive advantage over its rivals. Google executives are clear on this point, and the company is focused on lowering data center costs by designing its own server hardware and power supplies, along with custom operating system and server software.
“Realistically, we think we can’t put too much CapEx into the system,” Google CFO George Reyes said in the company’s July 20 earnings call. “It’s a really critical part of our competitive advantage and our infrastructure.”
So how much electricity does it take to power a 1 million square foot data center filled with Google server clusters? I’m not sure, but it looks like the local utility in Andhra Pradesh is about to find out.