Mobile // Mobile Applications
01:24 PM
John Foley
John Foley
Connect Directly
Core System Testing: How to Achieve Success
Oct 06, 2016
Property and Casualty Insurers have been investing in modernizing their core systems to provide fl ...Read More>>

Google's Data Center Strategy Revealed . . . At The Rotary Club

For months, I've been trying to get Google to discuss its data center strategy. My approach was flawed. I could have gotten more information at a Rotary Club luncheon this week in Hickory, N.C.

For months, I've been trying to get Google to discuss its data center strategy. My approach was flawed. I could have gotten more information at a Rotary Club luncheon this week in Hickory, N.C.Until recently, Google didn't talk to anyone about the data centers it's building around the world at a cost of about $600 million each, but company officials realized they needed to open up as the locals started asking questions about the tall fences, bulldozers, and dust being kicked up in their communities. So Google now talks strategy with the people directly affected.

As reported by John Dayberry in the Hickory Record, the manager of Google's under-construction data center in Lenoir, N.C., met yesterday with folks at the Hickory Rotary Club. Tom Jacobik told the group of about 100 that Google's data center there could be operational before the year's end or early in 2008. Among the tidbits gleaned: Google plans to employ approximately 200 people at the facility. (That seems to be the rule of thumb for new Google data centers.) Google's getting involved in IT skills education and retraining at local colleges. And Jacobik, one-time director of tactical operations for Oracle, is helping supervise construction of another Google data center in Charleston, S.C.

Last week, Google officials were in Council Bluffs, Iowa, where they addressed the Chamber of Commerce's quarterly meeting. Ken Patchett (he manages Google's data center in The Dalles, Ore.) gave a status report on Google's Council Bluffs facility, answered some questions, and dodged others. As reported by the Des Moines Register, Patchett also had breakfast at Duncan's Café on Main Street. (Check out the picture; I'll take two eggs scrambled, toast, black coffee.)

Patchett gave a "no comment" when a Register reporter asked about the number of servers deployed by Google worldwide. And when local farmer Bruce Barnett asked just what Google planned to do with 1,000 acres the company purchased south of town, he was told that Google was still thinking about that.

Despite Patchett's reticence, more details of Google data center strategy emerged: Google's buying up additional land near its rural data centers. And Google's building data centers amid the corn fields of Iowa, in part, because physical proximity leads to faster search results. In Google's business, milliseconds count.

In July, two editors from The Dalles Chronicle were invited inside Google's sparkling new data center in The Dalles, Ore. Patchett admits to hiring away a talented IT manager from a local business and getting an earful for it, but lays out a long list of community-development efforts. Google joined the local Chamber of Commerce, and it's helping the local library, fire department, and animal shelter.

On the subject of Google's Oregon data center (pictures here), we learn that Google got a 15-year tax break -- only the second of that length in state history -- and that it qualified for that break by promising to pay an average salary that's 150% above the county's average wage, among other investment and employment obligations.

Google's data center strategy comes into clearer focus with each town hall meeting. Charleston, here I come.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial Services
IT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.