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, North Carolina.
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 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 Cafe 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.
Virtualization At The Desktop?
Examine how more than 250 companies plan to adopt server virtualization technology in this recent InformationWeek Research report, Server Virtualization.
The BI Explosion
Examine the business intelligence strategies of 500 companies, including deployment drivers and challenges, spending plans, and vendor selection, in this recent InformationWeek Research report.
Last CIO Standing: Joke Contest
As I've said several times, I'm committed to passing along every CIO joke -- both by and about CIOs -- that I hear. Unfortunately, I don't have a joke this time. But I do have a little bit of insight that concerns a certain top technology executive's sense of humor -- or lack thereof.
The Incompleteness Theory Of Open Source, Continued
After my last post about how "failed" open-source projects aren't really failures at all, a colleague of mine provided me with more perspectives on that situation. The very way open source works, he claimed, is like an amortization of risk against failure in software development.
Could Linux Help Bring Both Koreas Together?
People in South Korea speak of folks in North Korea more as lost brothers than bitter enemies. Over the years the two have made various rapprochements, but now it looks like North and South are teaming up on a whole new kind of joint project: a Korean-language Linux distribution.
Zumobi Talks Widgets And Mobile 2.0
A few weeks ago I sat down to discuss Mobile 2.0 with handset giant Nokia at Mobile Internet World. This time I wanted to deepen the conversation and cover mobile widgets with Beth Goza, Senior Marketing Manager at startup Zumobi. Guess what, widgets are key to bringing Web 2.0 to the third screen.
Shop Google, Earn Airline Miles
Google is taking a page from the credit card companies by incorporating an airline miles reward program as part of Google Checkout this month.
AMD Opens Bangalore R&D Center
When you get CEO Hector Ruiz to fly into India to open up a new engineering facility, you know AMD is getting serious about 45nm quad-core chips.
Microsoft Rumored To Release A Windows Mobile Update
Although there aren't many details currently available, word on the street is that Microsoft has previewed an update to its smartphone operating system, Windows Mobile 6, to the lucky few attending the annual Mobius conference.
Note: To change your E-mail address, please subscribe your new address and unsubscribe your old one.
Keep Getting This Newsletter
Don't let future editions of InformationWeek Daily go missing. Take a moment to add the newsletter's address to your anti-spam white list: InfoWeek@update.informationweek.com
If you're not sure how to do that, ask your administrator or ISP. Or check your anti-spam utility's documentation. Thanks.
InformationWeek Daily Newsletter
A free service of InformationWeek and the TechWeb Network.
Copyright (c) 2007 CMP Media LLC
600 Community Drive
Manhasset, N.Y. 11030
The Business of Going DigitalDigital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.