Google advances Singapore data centre and cloud region

Google has reached a significant milestone with the completion of its latest data centre and cloud region campus expansion in Singapore.

This expansion brings the tech giant’s total investments in technical infrastructure in the country to a staggering US$5 billion, up from US$850 million in 2018. The company now employs over 500 people across its data centres in Singapore.

The announcement was made at the “Sustainable data centres with Google” event, where Dr. Janil Puthucheary, senior minister of state for communications and information, graced the occasion as the Guest-of-Honor and delivered a speech.

Bolstering Singapore’s position as a regional data centre hub

Google’s data centres form the backbone of its popular digital services like Search, Maps, and Workspace, which are used by billions of people and organisations worldwide, including those in Singapore. These facilities also play a crucial role in enabling Google to deliver the benefits of AI to users and businesses across the country. Singapore is one of only 11 countries where Google has built and currently operates data centers that serve users globally.

The Singapore cloud region offers high-performance and low-latency services to large enterprises, startups, and public sector organisations. Google Cloud customers benefit from robust controls that allow them to maintain the highest standards of security, data residency, and compliance, including specific data storage requirements. The Singapore cloud region is among the 40 regions and 121 zones currently operational around the world.

This expansion of Google’s data center and cloud region infrastructure will help address the growing demand for cloud services locally and globally. Complementing strategic initiatives that Google has been running in partnership with the Singapore Government, such as AI Trailblazers, Google for Startups Accelerator: AI First Singapore, and Skills Ignition SG, this move affirms the Government’s goal to establish Singapore as a regional data center hub, while supporting Singapore’s National AI Strategy 2.0 and its focus on compute infrastructure to fuel AI-led economic development.

A Google-commissioned Economic Impact Report by Access Partnership found that Singapore businesses can gain US$147.6 billion in economic benefits, measured in terms of cost savings, revenue increments, and productivity gains in 2030, if AI-powered products and solutions are utilised.

Leading the way in sustainability

Sustainability has been a priority for Google since the company’s inception 25 years ago, and this commitment is also reflected in the continued expansion of its state-of-the-art data center facilities in Singapore.

Google’s data centers are equipped with industry-leading sustainable features, ensuring efficient resource management to power even the most demanding applications. This is especially crucial in tropical climates like Singapore, where cooling measures must be carefully regulated to avoid energy waste and erosion of data center efficiency.

To achieve this, Google’s data centers in Singapore operate at an average temperature of approximately 27°C, ensuring a comfortable working environment for employees and a safe and efficient range for optimal equipment performance. These facilities also feature cooling systems that are specially engineered to re-use recycled water for cooling multiple times, minimising water intake. Comprehensive water management systems monitor usage around the clock throughout the facilities, and any atypical usage rates trigger immediate alerts to staff, preventing potential water waste.

These design principles and approaches to sustainability enable Google to ensure that the Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of its Singapore data centres matches improvements across its global fleet, despite the hotter climate in Singapore. Google publishes the PUE of its data centres at the campus level every quarter.

Such sustainability measures also earned Google the 2024 Water Efficiency Award by the Public Utilities Board (PUB), which recognises top water efficiency performers in their respective sectors.

Google’s commitment to sustainability also extends to local communities. A resident’s network in Bukit Batok housing estate is developing an “Eco Pond” supported by Google and the SG Eco Fund. The Eco Pond will harvest rainwater for stormwater management and other communal uses, thereby reducing reliance on potable water supply.

Kate Brandt, chief sustainability officer at Google, emphasised that data centres serve as the growth engines for digital progress by providing the foundation for digital transformation and innovation.

“The expansion of our data centre campus in Singapore reaffirms our commitment to helping Southeast Asian organisations capitalise on digital opportunities, while ensuring that growth is as sustainable as possible. Google is deeply committed to managing our environmental footprint, playing a key role in supporting a just climate transition, and helping to accelerate the global transition to a net-zero future,” Brandt added.

See also: NetApp partners with Google Cloud to maximise flexibility for cloud data storage

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Tags: cloud, data centre, Digital Transformation, google cloud