Google Eyes More Data Center Space in Denmark

Scott Ferguson
11/20/2017

Google is eyeing an expansion in Europe, buying land in Denmark where it plans to build a new data center that could be used to expand the company's cloud computing footprint, as well as meet new European Union standards related to data privacy.

On November 17, Reuters reported that Google's parent company, Alphabet Inc. , bought 324 acres near the town of Aabenraa, where the search giant already owns other property. A spokeswoman told the publication that there are no definitive plans, but it would likely be used to build a data center.

Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Facebook , Reuters noted, also plans to expand in Denmark in the coming years.

While Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is a distant third when it comes to public cloud -- Amazon Web Services Inc. and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) Azure are considered by most measurements as Number 1 and 2 -- the company has plans to rapidly expand its offerings around infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) (See AWS, Azure Dominating Multi-Cloud Expansion – Study .)

A new home for data centers
(Source: 12019 via Pixabay)
A new home for data centers
(Source: 12019 via Pixabay)

As Enterprise Cloud News editor Mitch Wagner has written about extensively, Google's plans for its Google Cloud Platform are expansive. Since former VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW) co-founder Diane Greene joined the company about 18 months ago, the company has invested heavily in its cloud capabilities, and the company is calculating that revenues from this business will exceed its ad revenue by 2020. (See Is Google's Big Enterprise Bet Paying Off?)

To help those plans, Google needs more data centers with global capabilities.

Additional data centers can also cut down on latency and other issues for the type of services that Google is planning to offer. For instance, the company is now offering multi-regional support for Cloud Spanner, a database-as-a-service offering, which requires data center located closer to customers. (See Google Cloud Spanner Updates: Better Uptime, More Support .)


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In addition to its cloud business expansion, a bigger data center footprint in Europe could help Google and its customers meet the regulations related to the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). These regulations will go into effect in May, and will not only address issues of personal privacy, but also control what personal data can travel outside the European Union.

Despite Brexit, the UK also plans to adhere to GDPR as well.

By keeping data closer to customers in the EU, instead of re-routing data through data centers in the US, cloud providers can be more complaint with the GDPR laws. A Gartner report found that nearly half of business are not complaint with GDPR.

By building data centers in Europe, Google is following several other companies that are moving their cloud resources closer to customers. IBM, for example, has been building smaller, more regional data centers throughout Europe to meet privacy concerns and to keep data more local instead of transferring that data outside of the EU. (See IBM's Big Hybrid Cloud Plan Calls for Big Infrastructure Investment.)

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— Scott Ferguson, Editor, Enterprise Cloud News. Follow him on Twitter @sferguson_LR.

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kq4ym
kq4ym
11/30/2017 | 8:32:45 AM
Re: Local data centers
It certainly will be interesting to see if Google in fact will get more revenues from the cloud vs. advvertising revenue in just three years time. Getting those facilities scattered in strategic spots will certainly help. I am wondering how much such a venture is also in order to "meet new European Union standards related to data privacy."
danielcawrey
danielcawrey
11/24/2017 | 9:20:40 PM
Re: Local data centers
Google started in the enterprise space by deploying Gmail to replace Lotus Notes or Microsoft Exchange. But there's only so many email systems you can switch out, so the cloud was the next step. 

It's not going to be easy. Amazon and Microsoft are fierce competitors in this space. 
Susan Fourtané
Susan Fourtané
11/24/2017 | 2:01:07 PM
Re: Local data centers
But there are not.
Phil_Britt
Phil_Britt
11/24/2017 | 1:38:38 PM
Re: Local data centers
There can still be massive power outages. Redundancy still best. 

 
Susan Fourtané
Susan Fourtané
11/24/2017 | 1:28:19 PM
Re: Local data centers
Well, there are not many hurricanes, tornados, or floods in Europe. We are pretty much safe in that sense. :)
Phil_Britt
Phil_Britt
11/24/2017 | 12:50:34 PM
Re: Local data centers
Local data centers only make sense if there is a redundant backup elsewhere. Otherwise, both the company's on-premises and off-premises systems can be knocked out by the same "act of God," like a hurricane, tornado or flood.
Susan Fourtané
Susan Fourtané
11/23/2017 | 10:24:35 PM
Local data centers
It makes sense to build local data centers. Companies also benefit from building data centers in countries where they can save in energy, such as Denmark, where the use of green energy is common. It’s also good for the cooling systems.
Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli
11/23/2017 | 1:06:19 PM
UK post Brexit
For now, the UK is still part of the EU, so GDPR applies to the UK until Brexit actually officially happens.

That said, the plan, from what I understand, is for the UK to create its own version of GDPR (probably to closely resemble that of Germany's own state directives and enforcement POV in particular) -- so expect regulatory uncertainty to be minimzed in that regard.
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