New DataCentre Builds For The Big 3 Search Engines

According to an article published in the New York Times, 8/June/2006, Google Seeks More Power, yet another new massive datacentre is to be constructed utilising the enormous power-generation capabilities of the Columbia River.

This joins MSN and Yahoo!, who already have building works underway in border towns between southern Washington and northern Oregon, all wanting to take advantage of the cheap electricity provided by the powerful mountain river.

With each of the search giants utilising many thousands of servers, availability of adequate power and connectivity are the main concerns in todays datacentre builds, with the equipment, land and staff now being cheap in relative terms. The expected increase in servers and storage systems for the main search engines is to grow from almost a million sytsems now to well over 4 million over the next 5 years.

This will make the Washington/Oregon border towns one of the most densley concentrated internet server locations in the world. During the .com boom massive trunks of fibreoptic cable were laid through the area, with many large companies grabbing as much dark fibre in the area as they can for “pennies on the dollar” of the original cost.

Exactly how these online giants will be improving access to the region has not yet been explained, with each of the datacentre facilities are in highly remote desert and mountain areas. Whilst this may be considered to add to “security” of the plant, it should mean local staffing possibilities, bringing new job prospects to the region.

The current/planned DC builds are …

  • Google will be adding to their existing facilities around The Dalles nr Portland, Oregon.
  • Yahoo are building at Quincy, Washington State.
  • Microsoft are planning theirs at Wenatchee, Washington State.

Expect to see Google sponsoring desert camel treks, and the rebranded (Y!) logo plastered all over extreme sports mountain buggies in the near future, as from looking at aerial photographs of the regions, it looks like they are the only transport methods !

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