Google Opens Two Data Centers in Asia, Shelves Hong Kong Plans

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This facility in Singapore is Google's first custom-built, two-story data center. The design saves money by allowing Google to build up, not out, in Singapore's pricey real estate market. (Photo: Google)

This facility in Singapore is Google’s first custom-built, two-story data center. The design saves money by allowing Google to build up, not out, in Singapore’s pricey real estate market. (Photo: Google)

With Asia’s staggering internet growth, it’s no surprise that Google is investing heavily in building data centers in the region. Google’s facilities in Taiwan and Singapore are now up and running, but the company’s plans in Hong Kong appear to be shelved.

The company has opened facilities in Changhua County, Taiwan, as well as in Singapore. As for Hong Kong, the online giant handed back the vacant Tseung Kwan O plot of land two years after the company held a groundbreaking there.  Google stated its intent to invest $300 million in the Hong Kong data center back in 2011.

The larger of the two  new Asian facilities, the new data center in Changhua County in Taiwan sits on 15 hectares of land in the shadow of some of the 100 meter wind turbines at the coastal industrial park. Long term investment at the site is expected to reach $600 million, up from the original $300 million.

Google built this facility to be one of Asia’s most efficient and environmentally friendly data centers. One of the ways it’s doing this is through the use of a nighttime cooling and thermal energy storage system. The system cools water at night when temperatures are cooler, then stores the water in large insulated tanks that retain the temperature before being pumped throughout the facility during the day. This allows Google to take advantage of the fact that rates for electricity are lower at night, reducing its power bill.

The Singapore facility is unique in that the company built up, not out. Instead of building a sprawling data center, the company built a  multi-story data center. It sits next to a primary school and publicly run housing (called HDBs) There’s also a pretty cool robot theme to the place.

Hong Kong Plans Shelved

The company sees tremendous opportunity and potential in Hong Kong, but has decided to focus on locations where it can build for economies of scale, the company said in a statement to the Wall Street Journal.  The company handed back the vacant lot two years after a groundbreaking. Google had originally planned to invest $300 million in the facility. but chose to focus its efforts elsewhere.

Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation granted 2.7 hectares to Google in 2011. Google used the name Allied Trade Holdings to obtain the site. The surrender request was processed in accordance with the conditions stipulated in the lease.

About the Author

Jason Verge is an Editor/Industry Analyst on the Data Center Knowledge team with a strong background in the data center and Web hosting industries. In the past he’s covered all things Internet Infrastructure, including cloud (IaaS, PaaS and SaaS), mass market hosting, managed hosting, enterprise IT spending trends and M&A. He writes about a range of topics at DCK, with an emphasis on cloud hosting.

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