Google is powering up its presence in Finland
Soaring demand for online video and new cloud computing services motivates Google to expand its much-talked-about data centre in Hamina, Finland. President of Finland Sauli Niinistö attended the press conference of Google Hamina data center on 2.8.2012.
With it's reinvestment, the global search giant is bringing a second server hall on stream and restoring the former paper mill’s landmark facade.
Google with its EUR 800 million data center investment is the largest foreign greenfield investment in Finland. In 2009, Google announced its plans to convert a 60-year-old paper mill in southeastern Finland into one of the world’s the most advanced and efficient data centers. The data center serves users primarily across Europe and eastern Asia but also around the world. The initial investment plan took 18 months to complete during which it provided work in excess of 2000 person-years. Today the data center employs well above 200 people in operation and maintenance. The Google data center investment also generates a wage sum in tens of millions euros annually and has even further amplified impact on employment through its entire supply chain.
Innovative cooling system
In August 2012, Google committed to a further €150 million investment in the data center, which will involve the restoration and conversion of an Alvar Aalto-designed machine hall. The conversion works is expected to take another 18 months, and will provide work at peak for about 500 engineering and construction workers.
The centre’s cooling system in particular has been praised for its innovative use of seawater from the Bay of Finland as an effective way to reduce energy usage and improve services
Business-friendly environment and expertise
Google is proud to call Finland home to its data center, and has repeatedly stated the importance of creating jobs locally through its presence in Finland. For instance, over 90% of the centre’s employees are Finnish, with many already living in the local community.
Although the search giant is reluctant to reveal its data centre strategy, the decision to come to Finland was supported by some very public reasons. Petri Kokko, who was Google’s Finnish country manager at the beginning of the project, said that Finland offers “a business-friendly environment” and a hiring pool of “employees with expertise.”
Two years later, Google is continuing to show that Finland and data centres are a winning equation.
Thinking outside the box helped Google infrastructure teams turn an 1950s paper mill into a high-efficiency data center cooled with seawater from Finland Bay. See Google's video about Hamina Data Center.