Google triples investment in Taiwanese data center

CLOUD COMPUTING::The additional investment would make the Taiwanese facility the biggest among the US Internet search giant’s three data centers in the region

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter, in Changhua County

Wed, Apr 04, 2012 - Page 12

Google Inc yesterday said it would triple its investment in a cloud-computing-based data center in Taiwan to meet fast-growing demand for Internet usage in Asia.

The investment would make the US$300 million facility the largest of its kind in the region.

In September last year, the US Internet search engine giant unveiled a plan to spend US$100 million to build a data center in Taiwan — one of three it plans to build in Asia.

The other two data centers are currently under construction in Hong Kong and Singapore.

“Our long-term investment of more than US$700 million is a bet that Asia is just scratching the surface of the Internet’s potential and that these data centers will help to enable the accelerating impact the Internet is having on lives and businesses across Asia,” Daniel Alegre, president of Google’s Asia-Pacific region operations, said during the groundbreaking ceremony for the data center in Changhua County.

“The way we operate data centers is we try to get as close to Internet consumers as possible. And Asia Pacific is the fastest growing [area] in terms of Internet users globally,” Alegre said.

Google is scheduled to complete the construction of the Taiwanese center early next year and to start operations by the end of next year.

The company said it planned to hire 25 full-time staff after the facility starts full operations.

Google Taiwan managing director Chien Lee-feng (簡立峰) said the data center could open the door for more cooperation between Google and local technology companies in the future.

“This [data center] is just the beginning,” Chien said.

He said the data center could set the scene for an alliance in the cloud-computing technology area between the company and Taiwan’s information and technology industry as local firms are good at producing servers and Internet equipment, among others.

“We anticipate this data center will evolve into a [cloud-computing technology] hub and will create a supply chain here in Taiwan,” Chien said.

Google’s local suppliers include Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦), which supplies servers to Google, and Nanya Technology Corp (南亞科技), which supplies memory chips used in servers.

Taiwanese firms are expected to make NT$1 trillion in revenue by supplying cloud-computing- related products and services in 2015, which was a NT$24 billion project approved by the Cabinet to facilitate the development of cutting-edge technologies.