Wednesday, February 07, 2007

How many zeros are in a Googlewatt?

How fitting that, being here at the FTTH Council Europe event in Barcelona, where all 1,200 delegates are debating how much bandwidth is enough and how fast, while simultaneously jockying for position near scarce power sockets for a quick recharge of depleted laptops, today my friend and Palladium Club mega-uber value reader Vincent Dekker of Trouw in the Netherlands, breaks the story of a massive new data center being built in the northern Dutch backwater of Eemshaven. Though no official confirmation is forthcoming, the word is that this new data center's primary tenant will be Google, with space for 100k servers, and conveniently located near a 2.4Gigawatt power plant, a windfarm, a "green" power cable making landfall from Norway, and a harbor which will in future house an LNG terminal. Do we see a pattern here? What's also interesting is that Google is reportedly the largest occupant of the current largest server farm in the Netherlands, Zernike, just up the road in Groningen. Looks like when planning for its future bandwidth and power demands, Google is a believer in the immortal words of Jerry Lee Lewis, "Enough is good, more is better, and too much is just about right." Except that "too much" continues to prove very difficult to gauge.

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