Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Why Google Should Consider Putting A Data Centre In Saskatchewan

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According to numerous rumours high tech behemoth Google is constructing more data centres to meet demands for Google services from Gmail to YouTube.  The latest data centres Google are not in buildings that sit on land, but float on barges just a few miles off shore from North America's coastal cities. 

Housing the world's most popular online services in server farms on boats poses some unique challenges most notably power and an Internet connection.  Satellite and fixed wireless could and likely would used to help put thousands of servers on a boat online satellite and wireless connections cannot replace dedicated fiber optic connections due to latency issues.

The other requirement that a data centre needs, hundreds of kilowatts of power would be difficult to deliver to a floating data centre.  An alternative to expensive data centre on a boat would be a traditional land based data centre sitting on land that has distinct advantages over other locations where data centres are located.

Building a building full of computers that power Google's popular online services generates a lot of heat internally requiring millions of BTU's of air conditioning. A data centre in Saskatchewan could use the cold dry winter air to cool the servers in the data centre reducing the need for air conditioning thus reducing operating cost and greenhouse gas emissions.  

Saskatchewan's cold winters are not the only weather resource that would be beneficial to the operation of a data centre getting the most hours of sunshine  per year in Canada makes using a solar power another way to reduce the need power to operate air conditioning in summer and help power the servers in the winter.  

Plentiful natural resources are not the only benefit for Google to take advantage of.  Both the Universities of Saskatchewan and Regina have computer science programs turning out graduates looking for jobs as hardware, software, and network engineering.  A Google data centre would be an excellent source of jobs for computer science graduates that would let them stay in Saskatchewan. 

Cost savings found in Saskatchewan go beyond natural and human resources.  Insurance costs lower in Saskatchewan than in places where Google's existing data centre are located near populated areas on the West and East costs of North America. Public vs. private insurance debate aside, insurance would cost less due to fact that Saskatchewan is a thousand miles away from the closest hurricane, earthquake or tsunami.

For the average Saskatchewanian who maybe asking that's all great for Google buy what di I get from it? The answer comes in two words, Google Fibre the low cost high bandwidth home broadband service challenging the cable telco duopoly in cities near Google's existing data centres.  Getting Google Fibre would make Saskatchewan's cities the first in Canada putting Saskatchewan on the high tech map.

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