Google is one of many big-name Web outfits that lease data center space from Equinix—a company whose massive computing facilities serve as hubs for the world’s biggest Internet providers. All the big Web names set up shop in these data centers, so that they too can plug into the hub. The irony is that they must also share space with their biggest rivals, and this may cause some unease with companies that see their hardware as a competitive advantage best hidden from others.
Google declined to comment on Sharp’s little anecdote. But the tale is not surprising. Google designs its own servers and its own networking gear, and though it still leases space in third-party data centers such as the Equinix facility, it’s now designing and building its own data centers as well. These designs are meant to improve the performance of the company’s Web services but also save power and money. More so than any other outfit, Google views its data center work as an important advantage over competitors.