Google unveils $7bn plan for data centre business in 2021
Google is growing again. During the early months of the pandemic, Google CEO Sundar Pichai revealed that, due to reduced revenues and the difficulties experienced by management when onboarding new hires, the company would actively slow its growth, both from an infrastructure and hiring perspective, for the foreseeable future.
Now, Pichai has officially declared an end to this brief stint of self-imposed austerity. In a blog post released on Thursday, Pichai revealed Google’s sizable investment plans for 2021, which aim to significantly expand its data centre footprint across the US, as well as increase the number of offices it owns and the number of employees who work in them.
The plan, Pichai explained, is to invest more than $7bn in the expansion of Google’s data centre network and offices throughout the US this year, which comes alongside a pledge to grow the company’s staff by 10,000.
Courtesy of Alphabet, Inc
“We’re increasing our investment in our South Carolina data centre, establishing our newest Cloud engineering site in Durham, North Carolina, and opening the first US Google Operations Centre in Southaven, Mississippi. Our existing data centre sites in Nebraska, Ohio, Texas and Nevada will be fully up and running in 2021,” wrote Pichai, adding that, not only will the data centres themselves create new jobs in the construction and engineering sectors, but the services they support will “make it possible to provide products and services that help boost economic recovery.”
In 2020, Google Search, Google Play, YouTube and Google advertising tools reportedly helped create around $426bn worth of economic activity which impacted over 2mn American businesses, nonprofits, publishers, creators and developers.
He added: “In 2018 we made a commitment to double our workforce in New York by 2028, and this year, we will continue to invest in building out our campus presence to meet that goal. We’ll continue to invest in our Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania offices, as well as increase our workforce in Washington, DC.”
Schneider Electric reveals new IT Innovation report
Schneider Electric has released a new IT innovations report titled “Digital Economy and Climate Impact”, with the aim of gaining an understanding of how digitised and smart applications will be powered in the future. The company says that the report predicts that IT sector-related electricity demand is expected to increase by almost 50% by 2030.
Despite this, the report also shows that emissions would not increase by more than 26% by the same year, following the decarbonisation of the electricity system. In an attempt to reduce this rise in emissions the Schneider Electric TM Sustainability Research Institute recommends continued efforts in achieving efficiencies on the IT and energy sides at both the component and system levels.
The report highlights how the rise of edge computing technologies require a “specific focus” due to these systems being less efficient than hyperscale data centres. “When the world locked down, it also logged on and internet traffic soared,” said Pankaj Sharma, EVP, Secure Power, Schneider Electric.
“It’s misleading to assume that digital activity will inevitably result in a deeply problematic increase in CO2 emissions. The analysis from the Schneider Electric Sustainability Institute puts to rest many of the worst-case scenario claims predicting IT-related electricity use will double every five years. That said, as an industry, we must remain vigilant in finding new sources of sustainability gains while ensuring resiliency as digital keeps life moving forward”, he added.
As well as the release of the report, Schneider Electric also announced several updates to its EcoStruxure IT data center infrastructure management software, Galaxy VL 3-phase uninterruptable power supply (UPS), introducing an industry-leading single-phase UPS, the APC™ Smart-UPS™ Ultra. All introductions are designed to advance the industry forward in meeting sustainability goals while increasing the resiliency of IT and data centre infrastructure, the company said.
Managing hybrid data center and edge IT environments
Also showcased in Schneider Electric’s report are the increasing demands on digital consumption. According to the company, these create a more complex hybrid environment inclusive of enterprise, cloud, and edge data centres. Addressing the unique management challenges of a hybrid IT environment, Schneider Electric has announced updates to its EcoStruxure IT software to increase efficiency and resiliency, including:
- Increased remote management capabilities: New granular remote device configuration features enable users to change configurations on one or more devices – including the new Galaxy VL and APC Smart-UPS Ultra single-phase UPS units – from one centralised platform with EcoStruxure IT Expert. This update, combined with previously released software insights on device security health, enables the user to identify faulty devices or configurations and address them in a matter of clicks, keeping their hybrid IT environment secure.
- Improved environmental monitoring: Environmental monitoring systems ensure users have eyes and ears on data centre and IT deployments from anywhere, anytime. With this update, users can push mass configurations remotely for NetBotz cameras 750 and 755 quickly and efficiently increasing security across the critical infrastructure.
- Enhanced remote capacity modeling and planning: With EcoStruxure IT Advisor’s new capabilities, users can remotely compare an unlimited number of racks and easily identify available capacity, view what assets are deployed and their dependencies.
Sharma concluded: “Schneider Electric has been focused on sustainability for the past 15 years and was recently named the most sustainable corporation in the world. We have embraced the mindset that future innovation will deliver better efficiency across the broader connectivity landscape. By making smart intentional choices, our industry can help mitigate how much electricity and emissions result from the rising appetite for digital technologies”.