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Wired Enterprise: @Google Reincarnates Dead Paper Mill as Data Center of Future (archive)

By Cade Metz Email Author January 26, 2012 | 6:30 am | Categories: Data Centers, Hardware, Secret Servers

Google's Finland data center is the ultimate metaphor for the Internet Age (Photos: Google)
Joe Kava found himself on the southern coast of Finland, sending robotic cameras down an underground tunnel that stretched into the Baltic Sea. It’s not quite what he expected when he joined Google to run its data centers.
In February of 2009, Google paid about $52 million for an abandoned paper mill in Hamina, Finland, after deciding that the 56-year-old building was the ideal place to build one of the massive computing facilities that serve up its myriad online services. Part of the appeal was that the Hamina mill included an underground tunnel once used to pull water from the Gulf of Finland. Originally, that frigid Baltic water cooled a steam generation plant at the mill, but Google saw it as a way to cool its servers.
Joe Kava, Google's head of data center operations and construction
Those robotic cameras — remote-operated underwater vehicles that typically travel down oil pipelines — were used to inspect the long-dormant tunnel, which ran through the solid granite bedrock sitting just beneath the mill. As it turns out, all 450 meters of the tunnel were in excellent condition, and by May 2010, it was moving sea water to heat exchangers inside Google’s new data center, helping to cool down thousands of machines juggling web traffic. Thanks in part to that granite tunnel, Google can run its Hamina facility without the energy-sapping electric chillers found in the average data center.
“When someone tells you we’ve selected the next data center site and it’s a paper mill built back in 1953, your first reaction might be: ‘What the hell are you talking about?,’” says Kava. “‘How am I going to make...
Sep 12, 2011 ... 3 days ago – Google Details, and Defends, Its Use of Electricity. Google. A Google data center in Hamina, Finland, is housed in a former paper ...
Sep 17, 2011 ... Look at this story from the Dow Jones VentureWire about a major Google contract in Finland. The new data center is in an old paper mill in ...