Just a year and a half after Google opened its first Asian data center at Singapore , it has announced plans for extension of the same, to a “second, larger, multilevel data center” right next to the current one. This will take Google’s total investment in Singapore to $500 million and add the $600 million worth Taiwan data center, Google’s total investment in Asia amounts to over $1 Billion.
The announcement was made by Google’s VP for Data Centre, Joe Kava in his blog post which also gave an artistic glimpse of the new data centre.
Joe further said,
On a plot of land about the same size as and just next to our current site, we’re working on a second, larger, multilevel data center. We hope to start bringing it online in mid-2017, and it will look something like this (or not, this is just a non-final artist’s rendering, we’re still tinkering)
He further added that the new facility “will be one of the most efficient and environmentally friendly sites in Asia, using 100% recycled water for its critical operations (i.e. just about everything other than drinking water) and also provide jobs for a small team of full time staff, as well as a number of contractors”.
Google’s expansion isn’t surprising. While there is now a saturation in the number of people coming online for the first time in the west, this is still a pretty common phenomena in Asia. For example, more than 400,000 Singaporeans got online for the first time since Google established its first data center in the country 18 months ago.
The smartphone penetration rate grew from 72% to 85%, and majority of Singaporeans signing up for new home Internet access got connected with speeds exceeding 100Mbps. To cater such high speed demands, Google had to expand its current capacity.
Though data centres do not exclusively cater to the needs of a particular region, in this case Singapore, they definitely lead to a higher speed of its services in the regions near the area. Moreover, as Google says, it intends to cater whole of Asia’s rising internet needs, and not just one particular nation.
Regions like India, Singapore, China, Taiwan continue to add Millions of new users every year (India alone is said to have added 40 million new internet users during the first half of 2015). This rise can be largely attributed to the availability of Android-powered smartphone at dirt-cheap prices, leading to a phenomenal growth in overall smartphone shipments and ownership.
However, despite this rapid increase in number of internet users, Google was reluctant to execute its plan of opening a third data centre in Asia in Hongkong, largely due to skyrocketing prices of real estate in the country. But then, you can’t really overlook such unprecedented growth of internet users in the region, which eventually led to Google’s current extension plans.
It is also speculated that Google is planning to extend its data centre in Taiwan by investing about $66 million to increase its capacity ( expansion was announced by Google itself at the time of launch ) though a Google representative declined to comment on the current plans of Taiwan centre when asked about it.