Google Expands Chilean Data Centre With $140m Investment

data centre, servers

Data centre footprint to be expanded in South American country thanks to availability of solar power

Google is beefing up its data centre credentials in South America with the news that it will significantly expand its only facility in that continent.

Google’s data centre in Quilicura, near Santiago, was first announced back in 2012 and became operational in January 2015 at a cost of $150m.

It is said to be one of the most efficient and environmentally friendly data centres in Latin America, and as of January 2017, it operated entirely on solar power.

solar panel power plant field © Vaclav Volrab Shutterstock

Chilean expansion

This plentiful availability of green energy seems to helped in Google’s decision to expand the facility in Chile.

According to Reuters, Google will invest $140 million to expand the facility, and the new investment will triple the data centre’s size to 27.7 acres and create more than 1,000 new jobs in the construction process, as well as 120 new permanent jobs.

Edgardo Frias, Google’s general manager in Chile, is quoted as saying that the improved infrastructure that came from establishing a data centre in Chile helped the company develop its capacity in Artificial Intelligence and machine learning.

“This new stage reinforces the promise Google made to the region to ensure that large and small companies, non-profit organizations, students, educators and all users can access key tools in a reliable and rapid way,” Frias reportedly said.

Meanwhile Google’s decision has been lauded by Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, who attended the launch event to show how important the Chilean government feels it is to move away from its dependence on copper mining and to embrace a digital economy.

The President vowed that Chile will be on the forefront of what he called “the current of history” in the technology revolution.

“What we have to decide is which side are we going to be on: where the new works of the future are created, or where the old works of the past are destroyed,” Pinera reportedly said.

Google executives told Reuters that they had made the decision to invest in Chile rather than Argentina because of the former’s favourable climate for foreign direct investment, a clear regulatory framework, and a good supply of renewable energy resources.

Global connectivity

Google in January this year said that it would invest $30 billion in three new subsea cables and five new regions as it looks to boost the spread and reliability of its cloud services.

Google’s data centres in Los Angeles are directly linked to its Chilean data centre thanks to Curie, its own private undersea cable.

It was the first subsea cable to land in Chile for two decades and is designed to help provide services for Google’s customers in Latin America.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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