In order to improve its reputation a bit in this country, Internet giant Google wants to go a “green” way. The company has announced that it will invest a whopping billion in an environmentally friendly infrastructure with cloud technology. I guess someone wants to outpace the competition?
Investment timeframe until 2030
Alphabet, the parent company of search engine pioneer Google, wants to make a substantial investment in this country. In doing so, the company has chosen two German locations at once. Not only is a huge cloud infrastructure to be built in the Berlin/Brandenburg region. On top of that, the Internet company wants to build a large data center in Hanau (Baden-Württemberg). But the plans do not stop there. In order to give the whole thing a green touch, money is to be invested in environmentally friendly electricity production. In particular, the topic of renewable energies plays an important role here. The ecologically produced electricity is to be used to ensure that the cloud servers can be operated in a climate-neutral manner for the foreseeable future.
Data center in Baden-Württemberg
Google itself announced that the company was already in the middle of the investment phase. For example, the building for the data center planned in Hanau is already in the construction phase. This is to provide a total of just under 10,000 m² for the necessary computing power. The high-performance servers are to be used in particular for Google’s own cloud services. In order not to risk any false experiments, Google has relied on the experts from NDC-Garbe. They are known globally as the specialist par excellence when it comes to building large and powerful data centers.
Although Google itself says it already has the keys to the building, it will probably take a little longer before the data center goes into operation. A launch of the facility is planned for 2022. This was announced by Philipp Justus (Google’s head of Western Europe). Moreover, it was not without reason that the city of Hanau was chosen. Above all, the proximity to DE-CIX, the world’s largest Internet node, played a role in the decision. The computing power that is to be managed in Hanau in the future can no longer be dispensed with in this country. The demand for Google’s cloud services is too great.
Berlin-Brandenburg as a cloud region
Furthermore, a completely new cloud region is to be created in the Berlin-Brandenburg conurbation. This goal should also be achieved by next year. Unlike the data center in Hanau, however, it is not yet known exactly where the new server structures will be built. This is probably because it is still uncertain whether entirely new commercial buildings will have to be erected or whether existing structures can be rented and used. The fact that things are not as uncomplicated in this region as they are in Baden-Württemberg could be seen from Philipp Justus’ statements. After all, he spoke of the fact that there was a “very, very high demand from corporate customers” in the Berlin-Brandenburg region.
This is hardly surprising. At the latest since the start of construction of Tesla’s Gigafactory, this region has become immensely more attractive. Nevertheless, there is no intention of doing without cloud power in this region. It is primarily the customers who are to benefit from this, if one is to believe the words of Justus. This said namely further:
“The closer we are to these customers with a cloud region, the faster, the more reliably the services that the Google Cloud offers these companies will also work.”
Cloud technology as a mainstay
Certainly, the competition will also look eagerly at Google’s investment. After all, with the investment amounting to billions, the future focus of the Internet giant also becomes clear. Cloud technology will probably continue to play a major, if not even a far greater, role in Google’s entrepreneurial orientation in the future. If one takes a look at the current main source of income, this step certainly makes sense. After all, the company currently earns the most from advertising revenue. A strategic change would not only be future-proof, but would probably also improve its reputation. However, the US company should not forget its competitors. Google is definitely not a pioneer when it comes to cloud technology. Besides Microsoft, Amazon has also been active in the cloud services business for quite some time.
Accordingly, it should not be easy for Google to keep up with this huge competition. That the company is ready to take on the big players has already become clear in corporate decisions in the past. For example, Google has made sure that its staff in this country is increased extensively. Well-known managers such as Daniel Holz are now also involved. Holz previously held a senior position at the software group SAP and now navigates Google’s cloud business for Germany and the whole of Europe. But not only the manpower has increased. On top of that, Google has brought new partners to its side. In particular, the Internet giant is now cooperating with major German companies such as Otto, Deutsche Bank and Lufthansa.
German sites for low latency
Some may wonder why Google doesn’t simply expand its huge servers overseas to meet increased demand. The company itself justifies its choice of location by saying that too great a physical distance from the customer could also limit the performance of the cloud services. In particular, elementary things such as performance and latency could suffer as a result. However, the legal framework conditions are also likely to be relevant for the company. It is simply less complicated to set up cloud services for customers of German origin in Germany itself. Legally, in particular, you are in a better position if you do not send data across the Atlantic, but leave it in the relevant region.
Eco-friendly data centers
Even though data centers are exceedingly modern facilities, their impact on the environment is often anything but contemporary. After all, the servers that are working all require a lot of energy to be able to work. To prevent this from damaging the environment and its image, Google wants to build “green” data centers. The necessary electricity is to be generated from renewable energy sources. This self-imposed goal of Google is not only extremely commendable, but also a real challenge. After all, it is an extremely difficult task to operate such a “power guzzler” exclusively with clean electricity. Until now, it has simply been impossible not to rely at least in part on fossil energy such as electricity from lignite combustion.
To eliminate this problem in the long term, Google also wants to promote renewable energies in Germany. In addition to wind energy, solar energy is also to be expanded. Google has been able to land another cooperation partner specifically for this purpose. The North Rhine-Westphalian energy company “Engine Deutschland” wants to cooperate with Google. A whopping 140 megawatts are to be produced by a huge photovoltaic system and several wind farms. This would already cover almost 80 percent of the power requirements of Google’s data centers. But according to Philipp Justus, this is just the beginning. By 2030 at the latest, 100 percent of energy needs are to be covered by green power. We are curious to see whether the Californian company can turn its vision into reality.