Google Datacenter Spending Tops $5.1B In Three Quarters

Google’s moody pic of the server floor in its Council Bluffs, Iowa datacenter

If there were no such thing as an embarrassment of resources, it would be tempting to invent a term with a string of even louder adjectives to describe Google’s one-company datacenter-building boom.

During the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30, Google spent $2.29 billion on capital expenses – the bulk of which went to datacenter construction, hardware and real-estate purchases, according to financial statements released by Google Oct. 17.

Google has been spending more than $1 billion per quarter in capital expenses since late 2012, but has been ramping up its capital spending since the beginning of 2010, according to figures compiled by DataCenterKnowledge.

The third quarter of 2013 is second in capital expenditures only to the 4th quarter of 2010, when Google bought a Manhattan office building for $2 billion, according to DataCenterKnowledge.

Rather than going in one chunk to living space, the bulk of the past quarter’s spending was devoted to building and expanding datacenters – including a $600 million build-out in Dalles, Oregon, $400 million in Council Bluffs, Iowa, $600 million each to facilities in North Carolina and South Carolina, and $390 million in new construction for a facility in Belgium.

In the past, Google’s spending has mirrored construction of datacenter capacity, on which it has spent more than $21 billion since it began building its own facilities in 2006.

Though it was outstripped by Google’s third-quarter spending, the company also spent a record $1.61 billion during the second quarter of 2013. However oddly, it was outspent in that effort by Microsoft, which put $1.79 billion into properties and equipment during the same quarter, according to GigaOm.

Google spent “only” about $2.3 billion each year during fiscal 2011 and 2012, added GigaOm, which also posted an analysis (registration required) showing it would be difficult even for Google to get a positive return from all that capital outflow.

Google’s capital spending during the past three quarters totals $5.1 billion – more than the entire annual revenue of companies on the annual Fortune 1,000 from No. 475 – FMC Technologies, $5.099B in 2010 – on down.

 

Image: Google, Inc.

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