Google works to inspire with its story

Charleston Post and Courier
Warren Wise
September 15, 2008

Google Inc. started out with a few guys indexing the text of informational manuals by using computers.

That sparked an idea for an Internet venture, so they moved a handful of computers into a garage and starting putting information online.

Ten years later, the Silicon Valley Internet search-engine giant is a household name throughout the world.

Andrew Johnson, manager of global data center development at Google, told attendees at the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce’s Salute to Small Business Luncheon on Friday that anything is possible.

“We started out small and look where we are,” he said of the company that now has 20,000 employees and a market value of more than $100 billion.

Johnson is shepherding development of a massive $600 million data center that Google is building on 520 acres in Mount Holly Commerce Park, as well as four other plants under construction in the United States and Belgium.

The center near Goose Creek won’t be fully operational until next year, Johnson said, but the company has scheduled a grand opening event at the site on Oct. 7. Attendees hoping for a glimpse of the inner workings of the 200,000-square-foot building will be disappointed. Google does not plan to let any visitors inside because of security and competitive concerns.

The Berkeley County plant, which will employ about 200 when complete, is being built to house a “server farm,” for Google. The banks of computers will process Internet word searches, electronic messages from the company’s free Gmail service and map and photograph requests.

The data center is expected to help the company cut its response time on the tide of online traffic generated on the East Coast. It also will serve as a backup for other Google server farms.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company has at least three other data centers under construction currently, in Lenoir, N.C.; Council Bluffs, Iowa; and Pryor Creek, Okla.

Google’s long-term goal is to organize as much as the world’s information as possible and make it available through its Web site.

“We have very ambitious goals,” Johnson said.

Back To The Top