Google is considering the possibility of building a hyperscale data centre in Taiwan, according to a report on Data-Economy.com.
The company has already invested more than $600 million in Taiwan since 2011, and part of that money was used to build a data centre in Changhua County which opened in 2013.
Google had acquired 15 hectares of land in the county and may now use part of the investment to expand the existing data centre to turn it into what is generally referred to as “hyperscale”.
Hyperscale data centres are not only much larger than the average data centre, but also have different hardware and infrastructure requirements.
These include new types of servers which are customised for specific demands. They tend to made from commodity components that are interchangeable and which can be replaced more easily in case of failures. And they tend to have larger motherboards, which means rack mounts of larger dimensions.
Traditional data centres tend to use more brand name servers, which are different to one another, which makes the infrastructure less flexible.
Hyperscale data centres are more modular, so they can be more easily scaled up or down, or reconfigured according to requirements.
Much of this flexibility is enabled by virtualisation and software-defined networks and systems, which makes the underlying hardware less directly responsible for serving files and hosting applications.
Moreover, Google have developed critical components of its own, including the Tensor Processing Unit, designed for deep learning applications. By using the TPU, Google says it has doubled its global data centre capacity.
Google Cloud Platform has been growing fast and, by investing more in Taiwan, the company may want to be closer to what will probably be a growing manufacturing operation.
Taiwan is obviously one of the leading electronics manufacturing nations, and Google is looking to invest more in producing devices such as its Pixel smartphone.
The search giant is also rumoured to be in talks to buy the smartphones division of HTC, another Taiwanese electronics giant.
Whether its devices business grows or not, Google, like all other companies will almost certainly need much more cloud computing resources – both for itself and for its customers.
Google is clearly aiming to stay among the leading cloud services providers – such as Amazon, IBM and others – at this time of increasing competition, especially as the market leader Amazon Web Services moves to per-second billing, which may make a big difference to the budgets of companies using cloud services.