Google and Their Data Center Strategy Essay

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Network and Hardware Section of the Google Strategic Plan

The following network and hardware section of the Google strategic plan is predicated on how the Google business model will increasingly concentrate on cloud computing as a core sector of organic new growth. Reducing the overall cost of ownership, increasing reliability and service responsiveness, and increasing the capacity to quickly launch new services is critical to attaining long-term revenue and profit objectives (Google Investor Relations, 2014). Creating a solid technological foundation for Google to continue expanding on globally is also a strategic objective of this plan. Inherent in any design of Google strategic information technology (IT) plan is contingency planning and back-up plans to ensure systems availability and long-term reliability (Google Investor Relations, 2014). This section of the Google strategic plan also includes key components of this aspect of strategic IT planning as well.


Orchestrating the global network of hardware, systems and services to ensure continual stability, reliability and fault tolerance so business strategies can be supported and sustained is the goal of the Google IT Strategic Plan. The network and hardware section's goal is to concentrate on how all available IT resources can be used for supporting and strengthening the strategic plans, initiatives and strategies of the company (Google Investor Relations, 2014).

With cloud computing becoming an increasingly larger percentage of Google's annual revenues and profits, this section of the Google strategic plan concentrates on optimizing the network and hardware infrastructure to optimize AppEngine performance. The Google AppEngine has the potential to dominate enterprise cloud computing given its inherent scalability, support across the Google series of fabric controllers that optimize searches, and deep Application Programmer Interface expertise (Prodan, Sperk, Ostermann, 2012). One of the most critically important strategic goals of this plan is creating an optimal architecture to streamline and ensure the highest performance possible for Google AppEngine running in heterogeneous, complex enterprise software environments. This requirement is predicated on the depth and breadth of applications that many Google enterprise-class customers have and the ubiquity of support necessary for them to be productive building AppEngine-based applications. The network and hardware infrastructure needs to reliably and securely scale to support Google AppEngine as a result.

A second strategic initiative that the Google IT plan must support and continually scale to optimize is the corporate-wide performance of the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) services, which have grown into a significant business over the last two years (Google Investor Relations, 2014). PaaS Services provide the potential for Google to move beyond its heavy dependence primarily on advertising and shift the focus to competing directly with Amazon Web Services, IBM and others who are defining the broader enterprise cloud computing landscape today (Beimborn, Miletzki, Wenzel, 2011). Creating an optimized IT infrastructure to enable excellent Google AppEngine performance in enterprises (Prodan, Sperk, Ostermann, 2012) and also creating one that can support scalability and enterprise security requirements for PaaS-based platform development and sales is essential for Google's long-term profitability and financial growth (Google Investor Relations, 2014).

Google Network and Hardware Planning: A Global Perspective

Google's global business model needs to be the foundation that the IT strategic plan is built on, starting with the data center strategy. Defining the optimal data center strategy will in turn define the optimal level of network services, supp0ort, servers and application support. As the Google AppEngine and PaaS-based businesses continue to accelerate, it is anticipated that additional data centers will be required. Figure 1 provides an overview of the twelve data centers is existence today.

Figure 1: Current Data Center Locations as of September, 2014


The first Google data center was constructed in 2003, in Douglas County, GA, followed by locations in Oregon, North and South Carolina and in 2008, the first European data center in St. Ghislain. Belgium (Google Investor Relations, 2014). Currently Google has approximately 2.4M servers installed across 12 data centers worldwide. Table 1, 2014 Server Count by Data Center provides an overview of server count by location.

Table 1: 2014 Server Count by Data Center Location

Source: Analysis of Securities and Exchange documents filed by Google and Investor Relations, 2014)

Google's cloud business is growing at a consistent 20% a year,…

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