Google recently bought roughly 500 acres for a planned data centre development in Kansas City's Northland, Missouri in the United States.
The land is reportedly the same plot previously under contract to data centre company QTS and is located several miles away from a site where Google has been planning a separate campus. As a result, Google now holds more than 800 total acres of land in Northland alone.
This news comes in the midst of Google continuing to expand its global data centre efforts. The tech giant is seeking out numerous sites around the world to develop interconnected data centres and support rising customer demand in an age of digital transformation.
Advancing innovative data centre solutions
Google, alongside hyperscalers, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure, continues to dominate the data centre landscape with massive infrastructures that provide scalable computing power, storage and services on demand. These facilities ultimately enable businesses and individuals to access and deploy applications, store data and harness the potential of big data analytics.
The tech giant’s data centres work to support many core company products, including its search engine, Gmail, Chrome browser and a variety of cloud-based products. Currently, Google owns around 35 data centres that are either in operation or under development across more than 10 countries throughout the world.
Over the last five years, the company has invested more than US$37bn in its offices and data centres in the United States, according to AI Business. In addition, US$40bn was put into research and development (R&D) in the US for 2020 and 2021 alone, also creating more than 40,000 full-time jobs.
Google is also keen to stay ahead in its developments in order to retain customer satisfaction. The company’s Google Cloud platform stated on 11th January 2024 that its customers who want to migrate their data to another cloud provider will not have to pay any network fees to make the transfer. This ground-breaking decision to eliminate data transfer fees worldwide makes it easier for customers to change their cloud provider.
Investments like these are comparable to other leading technology companies that are harnessing the power of data centres, as each compete to stay in front. Indeed, Amazon recently invested further into Texas to expand the region’s connectivity in line with growing demand.
This decision marked a clear change of strategy and demonstrated a desire for large companies to continue data centre investments in order to capitalise on newer technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and the cloud.
Powering a sustainable edge
The company is also committed to advancing new data centre solutions like liquid cooling to develop their operations in a more sustainable way. In particular, the tech giant released a new responsible water usage framework in December 2023 as part of a commitment to support water security in communities where data centres operate.
Working towards responsible water consumption, Google aims to set a leading example for other data centre operators to consider the future of their cooling methods. As the digital economy continues to expand, driven by AI and machine learning, the demand for data centres has never been higher - so it is vital that enterprises find new ways to operate at scale, whilst remaining sustainable.
When it comes to its data centres, Google has been very clear about its sustainability goals. In 2020, the company set a goal for its sites to run on 24/7 carbon-free energy on every grid where it operates by 2030.
Committing to harnessing clean energy to meet rising electricity needs aims to increase the impact of the company’s clean energy procurement on grid decarbonisation.
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