Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Google Gets Into the Paper (Mill) Business

There are probably many good reasons that Google has chosen an old Finnish paper mill as the site of a new data center. But it’s reasonable to assume that at least someone in Mountain View was amused by the irony, no? Reuters:

Google said on Thursday it aimed to build a data centre at an old paper mill in southeastern Finland that it bought from Stora Enso for 40 million euros ($51.7 million).

‘We are currently considering to build a data centre at this site,’ said Google spokesman Kay Oberbeck…

In early 2008 Stora Enso closed down the loss-making Summa mill, which consumed 1,000 gigawatt hours of electricity per year, after nearly 53 years in operation.”

Go ahead and make your own knowing creative destruction joke here. And when you’re done, think about the more prosaic symbolism of the purchase. Last fall, Google (GOOG) was putting the brakes on growth–it delayed and scaled back data centers in Oklahoma and North Carolina, and even laid off some of its recruiters.

You don’t want to read too much into this purchase–buying property isn’t the same as actually building a data center–but it’s certainly a more hopeful sign than a company that’s selling off assets.

[Image Credit: Library of Congress via Flickr]