Google given permission for data centre campus in Sweden
U.S. tech giant Google has received permission to construct a data centre campus in the Nordic region of rural Sweden. The 109-hectare site has been subject to legal reviews since it was purchased by Google in 2017. However, the company is yet to decide whether it will build a cloud facility, saying that it “will depend on market demand”.
The terms of the agreement state that Google must begin construction of the facility with the next decade or its permission may be revoked. The site on which the campus will be constructed is located in Horndal in the Avesta municipality, two hours north of Stockholm, Sweden’s capital city.
Jonathan Evans, Advisor to the Nordic Data Centre Sector and Director at Total Data Centre Solutions, said: “The content of this decision paves the way for future developments in data centres worldwide as it focuses on the source of the power, emissions from the stand by generators and reuse of server heat, all key points in reducing carbon emissions in the sector”.
If construction goes ahead, Google has also been given permission to use surface water from the Dalälven river in the facility for cooling. Sweden’s Land and Environment Court pointed out that this will not have an impact on protected wildlife nature reserves, air and water quality following environmental due diligence carried out on the project.
According to a condition for approval imposed by Sweden, by 2030, Google will only use fossil-free fuel for the reserve power plant, which will initially be powered by diesel before then.
Farshad Shadloo, Regional Communications Manager at Google, said in 2017 that, at the time, the company “had no plans to develop this site” but that “we do want to ensure that we have options to expand our data centre presence in Europe if our business demands it”. Sara Övreby, Public Policy and Government Relations Manager of Google Sweden, said: “We are very happy to be here and we think it is going well. We agree with the authorities on many issues”.
Google’s data centre expansion plan
Google is currently on a rapid expansion path and is building new facilities in Qatar, Canada, Australia, India, Italy (Turin and Milan), France, Chile, and Spain. Today, the company has data centre sites in 25 regions with availability for 76 zones and 144 network edge locations.
Microsoft hyperscale plans prompt Lab3 New Zealand launch
Lab3, an Australian cloud migration specialist, has announced it is launching in New Zealand after being prompted by a surge in demand for cloud services and Microsoft’s investment into hyperscale data centres.
The company, which was founded in 2017, has appointed David Boyes as Chief Executive Officer and Rich Anderson as Chief Operating Officer. According to Companies Office records, Boyes and Anderson each have a 10% share in Lab3’s New Zealand business. Commenting on cloud migration, Boyes said: “Across New Zealand, in government and every industry sector, organisations are looking to migrate to the cloud to modernise their technology environments.” He added that the Coronavirus pandemic was fuelling a “ need to tap into the power of data, facilitate remote work and meet public expectations of a virtual world.”
Chris Cook, Group CEO of Lab3 said the business was "first and foremost about client success" which drives the company’s product innovation and motivation to expand into New Zealand. “We look forward to working closely with Microsoft to deliver more for New Zealand clients,” he said.
Microsoft’s New Zealand hyperscale data centre investment plan
Microsoft’s investment into a hyperscale data centre region in New Zealand meant the resulting facilities will aim to provide several organisations with access to the security and scalability of a public cloud without sending data offshore.
Vanessa Sorenson, Managing Director of Microsoft New Zealand, said: “We’ve seen a tremendous acceleration in cloud migration over the past year as organisations have responded to global disruption and conversely, recognised the global opportunities a digital operation brings.
“Our research with IDC shows public cloud technologies are set to create 102,000 local jobs and add [NZ]$30 billion to the New Zealand economy over the next four years, so we’re delighted to welcome a partner of LAB3’s calibre to New Zealand, to help more organisations realise those gains even faster," she added.
Lab3’s clients include several fintech organisations, a global software vendor, Australian federal and state government agencies, and insurance and banking corporations. The company employs over 200 staff and has three advanced specialisations across migrations, Azure virtual desktop, and security.