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Friday, 11 August 2006 10:18

Google likely to set up $1 billion datacenter in India

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ImageSearch kingpin Google is planning to set up back-office operations at a special economic zone in Andhra Pradesh in India and the investment could go as high as $1 billion, government officials say.

The company’s proposal has been cleared by the Indian government’s Board of Approvals.

The company is said to be planning a server farm in the country. This is the second attempt by the company, after infrastructure-related problems forced it to locate its server farm elsewhere earlier this year.

Though no further details of the project are available, industry sources say that the Indian centre will be the company's second such facility in Asia and seventh globally.

Google will store all the data from its users – right form e-mails, blogs, photos, documents and chat records, and make it available to users when they demand it. A local server will allow users to access the internet faster and also save on access costs from international locations when volumes are likely to increase.

According to Juxt Consulting, Google is still behind when it comes to brand recall when compared to Yahoo! but has been rapidly catching up when it comes to its email user base.

Today, storage capabilities of software firms has become a major issue and individual data centre operators and giants like Microsoft and Yahoo are investing billions in building bigger and faster datacenters.

Other investments cleared by the Board of Approvals

Other foreign investments cleared included Dell’s and Accenture’s. Dell’s investment is also likely to be made in Andhra Pradesh, while Accenture is looking at Karnataka. While Dell has 12,000 people currently in its four centers in India (this is likely to increase to over 20,000 in the next two and a half years), Accenture has a huge workforce of around 20,000 people across India.
 
The others in the list includes Cisco, SAP, Intel, AMD and Microsoft committing over $1 billion-plus investments.
 
The proposals of several large Indian IT firms for setting up SEZs which were also cleared, included two zones of Infosys in Pune and Mysore, and proposals of Wipro, HCL, Cognizant and NIIT.

A knowledge city being set up by technocrats in Bangalore was also approved.

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