Google Plans in Asia

    Over the past three months, the number of Internet users in Asia has grown equivalent to the entire population of Canada. According to Joe Cava, vice president of Google data centers, these impressive growth rates are the main reason why the company is interested in a physical presence in the region.

    More than half of the total world population and almost half of all using the Internet live in Asia. Every day, more new users are connecting to the Internet in the Asia-Pacific region than in any other country in the world. To be closer, it makes sense for Google to locate its data centers here, especially considering that most of the people who have not yet used the Internet also live here. In addition, the development of cloud technology increases the importance of proximity to potential customers. No delays in accessing cloud data and good bandwidth can only be achieved through local presence.

    During his speech at the Datacenter Dynamics Converged 2014 in Singapore, Joe Cava also shared information on using machine learning to further improve the impressive energy efficiency values ​​of Google data centers. The machine learning system processes large amounts of information and applies pattern recognition to improve energy efficiency in real time with great accuracy. The algorithm monitors the overall IT load, air temperature, as well as the level of use of mechanical and cooling equipment. Within a few months, a similar system will be launched at a data center in Singapore.

    High-rise data center in Singapore

    In 2013, Google launched two data centers in the Asia-Pacific region located in Jurong West in Singapore and Changhua County in Taiwan. Despite the fact that the centers were designed and built at about the same time, their design and characteristics are very different. Due to the lack of land in the city-state, the data center in Singapore is built on a small plot of 2.45 hectares, while the data center in Taiwan is located on more than 15 hectares.

    Explaining Singapore's choice for building a data center, Joe Cava mentions a number of factors, such as network neutrality, business climate, and privacy. By these parameters, Singapore occupies the top lines in Asia. There are already working data centers of such well-known companies as Microsoft, Amazon, SoftLayer, NTT, Tata Communications and others.

    A hot and humid environment is not a problem, other Google data centers have already passed this test. For example, a data center in South Carolina gets hot and humid in the summer. Google knows how to build data centers for a warm climate, if this was provided for by the project from the very beginning.

    But despite all the enthusiasm for Singapore, Kava acknowledged that it would be much easier to build with a large plot of land. Building in a small space is a logistical challenge for a company. Land restrictions and excavation rules forced Google to make the data center in Singapore multi-story. This is the first multi-storey data center for Google, and when it was built, the construction method was rethought to make the corresponding design changes.

    The data center in Singapore is being cooled with the help of NEWater, Singapore's Putility Utilities Board brand that treats wastewater from drinking water.

    Environmental Data Center in Taiwan

    Built to be the most efficient and environmentally friendly in Asia, the Taiwan data center in Taiwan uses night-time cooling and a heat storage system, which reduces energy consumption by 50% compared to previous solutions. The system cools water at night at lower temperatures, stores water in isolated tanks, and pumps it throughout the facility for cooling during the day. Such systems cut costs by allowing the company to use air conditioning systems at night at lower tariffs for electricity and stored cooling energy during the day when tariffs are high. According to Joe Cava, these ideas are not revolutionary, but Google used them for their data centers for the first time.

    Google has already invested about $ 600 million in a project in Taiwan and plans to develop it in the future. The third phase of investments can start in early 2015. Over time, the project may become the largest cloud data center in the Asia-Pacific region.

    Exit from Hong Kong

    But even for a Google-sized company, not everything is so serene. Last December, Google revised its plans to build a data center in Hong Kong, citing the cost of work and the difficulty of acquiring a large piece of land. Google said that despite the huge potential and capabilities of Hong Kong, the company decided to stop work on the project and focus on regions in which presence can provide economies of scale.

    Rumors about a possible abandonment of the project have appeared long ago, since a 2.7-hectare plot of land provided by the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation for the construction of the Google data center remained empty for almost 2 years after the groundbreaking ceremony. The hint of a lack of space seems far-fetched, given that in Singapore, the data center is located on a 2.45 hectare site, so the prevailing opinion is that Google abandoned the project for political or some other reasons, one of which is increased Chinese censorship. Be that as it may, the land was returned according to the provisions of the contract.

    Will Google build new data centers in the region? As Joe Cava said last month, no at the moment. According to him, instead, Google will focus on developing its investments in the region, including long-term investments in Singapore in the amount of 120 million US dollars (152.6 million Singapore dollars).

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