Google's purchase of land in Austria for a possible data center highlights the global nature of the search giant's infrastructure. Google's existing European footprint includes several data centers in the Netherlands and one in Belgium, as well as peering centers in major European bandwidth hubs.
Erwin Boogert recently posted new photos of Google's facility near Groningen in the Netherlands. Erwin originally shot pictures of the facility in 2004, but revisited in late October for a second look. Erwin is an IT journalist who has also put together a Google Maps mashup with more information about Google's operations in the Netherlands and Belgium.
In Austria, Google has purchased 185 acres of farmland in Kronstorf, and will be evaluating the site for future development as a data center. Original reports from Europe indicated that Google would build a new facility within two years, but the company says it has not yet decided its plans. Google has taken a similar approach in Blythewood, South Carolina, where it has bought land but hasn't yet determined whether to build a data center at the site.
Network peering data indicates Google also has data center space in data centers around Europe, with equipment in Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Paris, London, Dublin and Milan. See the Google Data Center FAQ for more details on the company's global infrastructure.