Top-secret Google datacentre almost finished

Google's new centre to be based in the home of Bigfoot

Google is nearing completion of a new datacentre on the banks of the Columbia River in Oregon. But trying to get information about the project is almost as difficult as finding Bigfoot, which is reputed to lurk in the area.

Although Google officials did go so far as to confirm that the company is building a facility in The Dalles area of Oregon, that's about all they would say — except to note that the company has technology infrastructure facilities around the world that support its services.

"As the breadth of our services and number of users grow, we will build additional infrastructure to support them," says a Google spokesman."Our facility in Oregon is part of this effort."

Nolan Young, city manager of The Dalles, which is home to numerous Bigfoot sightings, said he had signed a non-disclosure agreement with Design, the firm that negotiated the purchase of the land on Google's behalf, but he could not confirm when, or if, Google will take up residence in The Dalles. However, he did say that the new facility would create between 70 and 100 new jobs.

Other than that, he says. the only information he could provide was what has been in public documents or spelled out in press releases. "There's a firm in the area, Design LLC, that's in the process of constructing two buildings. We have issued building approval and planning approval for those to proceed. We are also providing water and sewer service to those facilities, and three buildings have been approved. Construction is wrapping up on two of them."

Young says one of the reasons Design — read Google — decided to locate in the community was because the company needed a fibre connection, and the city had built a fibre optic loop to their site. Rob Enderle, an analyst at San Jose-based Enderle Group, was able to add a bit more information to the mystery.

"All I know is the location has to do with the power station and cooling water supply in close proximity, suggesting that this thing is really big and incredibly power-hungry," Enderle said.

Enderle says the centre "will be one of the most powerful datacentres on the planet and may move the consumer market aggressively to a software-as-a-service model — with advertising funding dramatically changing the technology market as we know it."

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