Google Data Center Spending Up Slightly

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Google (GOOG) continues to invest in its data centers, but there’s no sign of an imminent return the huge spending seen in 2007 and 2008. Google invested $239 million in capital spending on its IT infrastructure in the first quarter of 2010, a slight uptick from the $221 million it spent in the fourth quarter. The company’s capital expenditures (CapEx) have trended modestly higher over the last four quarters, but remain at about a quarter of what the company spent at the height of its data center building program. Here’s a look at the recent trend in Google’s capital expenditures:

  • 1Q 2006: $345 million
  • 2Q 2006: $699 million
  • 3Q 2006: $492 million
  • 4Q 2006: $367 million
  • 1Q 2007: $597 million
  • 2Q 2007: $575 million
  • 3Q 2007: $553 million
  • 4Q 2007: $678 million
  • 1Q 2008: $842 million
  • 2Q 2008: $698 million
  • 3Q 2008: $452 million
  • 4Q 2008:$368 million
  • 1Q 2009: $263 million
  • 2Q 2009: $139 million
  • 3Q 2009: $186 million
  • 4Q2009: $221 million
  • 1Q2010: $239 million


The capex “breather” has been enabled by the company’s building boom in 2007-08, during which it announced major data center construction projects in Lenoir, North Carolina; Goose Creek, South Carolina; Pryor, Oklahoma and Council Bluffs, Iowa. Google has not announced any new data center builds in the U.S. since June 2007, and confirmed just one international project in 2009 in Hamina, Finland.

After the economic meltdown gripped Wall Street in the third quarter of 2008, Google throttled back spending even further, opting to delay construction of its data center in Pryor.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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  1. Chris

    Looks like Google spotted the disaster in 2006 and embarked on a massive capex investment campaign in Q3/06-08 to drag down income.