Google To Build Oklahoma Data Center

Wednesday, May 2nd 2007, 8:56 am
By: News On 6

Google gives the go-ahead. On Wednesday, the internet giant officially announced its plans to build a large data center in Pryor. The move means about 200 good paying jobs, and now some are wondering if it could mean more data centers for the industrial park there. The next time you type in a search in Google, it might just go through Pryor. The News On 6’s Steve Berg reports the larger story is that Google is rumored to be building dozens, if not hundreds, of these data centers all around the world.

The arrival of Google at the Mid-America Industrial Park in Pryor could be a sea change for northeast Oklahoma.

"We've been, up to this date, just manufacturing-type facilities, but this is a whole new era for us," said Mid-America Industrial Park director Sanders Mitchell.

Just as Oklahoma has clusters of certain industries, like energy and aerospace, could we be home to a critical mass of data servers? It's difficult to say. For one thing, Google's director of global operations, Lloyd Taylor, says Google itself is less than 10 years old, and the warehouse computing technique, as he calls it, is only a couple of years old.

"But it is interesting to note that after we announced our site in Oregon, within several months, some of our main competition announced very large sites in the same general area," said Taylor.

Instead of using a few giant servers like in the past, Taylor says Google's warehouse method uses thousands of smaller desktop type servers.

"It's a much cheaper way to do computing, but it requires a little more work on the software layer," said Taylor.

Google's data centers, like the one being built in Oregon, use enormous amounts of water and electricity, which is one reason that Google chose the Pryor park.

"But there's lots of places that have that. What also we look for is a good workforce, the ability to construct these sites very quickly, using our own techniques of construction management, and a place that's interested in growing with us," said Taylor.

"With Google coming in, it means we're opening the door for other like companies," said Mitchell.

Mitchell says it’s the kind of high-tech diversification that could slow the exodus of Oklahoma's youth.

“Educate them. Keep them in-state,” said Mitchell. “This is the type of jobs that I think will keep them in state."

Google won't say exactly how many data centers they have. They would only say, quote, "dozens". And there are numerous other companies, like Microsoft and Yahoo, which are part of the data center building boom as well.

Watch the video: Internet Giant Announces Plans To Build In Oklahoma

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