Across the web this week: Google increases its (unique) footprint in the Southeastern states, Facebook opens a new Irish data centre, and Southeast Asia prepares for a bumper data centre crop.
Google Increases its Data Centre Footprint in America’s Southeast
It’s no surprise that Google is continuing the expansion of its data centre network, but what is intriguing is the proportion of its computing power that will be concentrated in the South-eastern states of the US.
Over the last 6 months, Google announced plans for a pair of new data centre sites, one in what was once a semiconductor fabrication factory in Tennessee and the other a former Alabama coal plant, each at a price of $600 million. These join existing South-eastern centres in Georgia and North and South Carolina.
This concentration is unique among large scale cloud hosting providers, but it’s far from unfathomable. The region is economically attractive and home to areas of high population density and defunct industrial infrastructure – ideal for Google’s penchant for retrofitting.
Google’s approach to data centre scouting is widely regarded as the world’s best. So the real question is whether these choices indicate needs and priorities unique to Google, forward thinking that will lead to other cloud builders following suit and looking to the Southeast for future infrastructure development, or simple opportunism made possible by Google’s rare ability to take advantage of these existing industrial sites.
Data Center Frontier offers an in-depth look at the story.
Strong Datacentre Growth Expected in Southeast Asia
In Computer Weekly, Ai Lei Tao reports that Southeast Asia is expecting considerable investment in datacentres, predicted to reach US$3.4bn before 2018.
Singapore has been considered a key hub for data for some time now, but expansion is beginning to be seen elsewhere, and consulting firm BroadGroup suggests that Singapore now only accounts for half the data centre spend in the region. The firm reported plans for significant growth in the sector in Indonesia for instance, and identified key zones for new development across south-east Asia.
However before an area can become a data hub, it must overcome key challenges, such as issues with power and connectivity, and while south-east Asian locations can offer savings in land and labour prices over Singapore, the costs of connectivity may outweigh the benefits. It will be interesting to see how data centre operators balance these challenges with their growth needs beyond Singapore.
Facebook’s New Republic of Ireland Datacentre
In The Register: the slightly more prosaic news that Facebook intends to open a new datacentre in the Republic of Ireland.
In addition to Dublin’s growing renown as a leading destination for cloud data centres – thanks in part to its climate and ample renewable wind energy opportunites – the emerald isle, which notably takes a soft-touch approach to corporation tax, is already home to Facebook’s international headquarters.
Now Clonee village, which lies close to Dublin, will house a 220 acre site – Facebook’s second in Europe. It will house racks and servers newly built as part of the Open Compute Project and renewable energy will provide all its power.
Choosing a Data Location
When it comes to data centre location strategy, two key concerns are access to population centres and network access. However, every operator will have its own specific strategy based on their own needs and those of their customers.
As part of the iomart family, ServerSpace has data centres in key locations across the UK, giving us excellent access to high-speed network infrastructure and reliable power. Our varied range of sites enable us to operate close to our customers, whilst also allowing for disaster recovery or secondary data sites that sit at an optimal distance from a customer's primary site.
The option of having your data centre close to your offices is of particular benefit to colocation customers but can be a source of reassurance and convenience to all.