Google has doubled what it spends on its data centers – the company’s largest investment since 2008.

According to Data Center Knowledge, Google spent $476 million in the second quarter, compared to $239 million in the previous quarter .

Historically, the company’s capital spending tracks data center construction. That means this increase could mean a new data center or that it’s adding to an existing one. Data Center Knowledge reports that a typical data center costs between $200 million and $600 million.

Google could not be reached for comment about the spending increase.

As cloud computing becomes more predominant, we expect to see a wave of spending for data centers built specifically for that purpose. And politicians are looking for the chance to have them built in their communities. Microsoft recently started construction on a data center in Des Moines, Iowa.

“When the recession hit, Microsoft shelved previous plans to build a $600 million data center at the site in West Des Moines. Google is currently operating a “server farm” in Council Bluffs. The Google and Microsoft projects received special tax incentives from the state; over $3 million worth of road improvements were made around the Microsoft site in West Des Moines. Microsoft was considering sites in San Antonio and Chicago for its newest data center.

“We’ve now scored the big trifecta,” Governor Chet Culver told Radio Iowa. “We have IBM, Google and Microsoft all doing business and creating hundreds and hundreds of good-paying jobs in Council Bluffs, Dubuque and now West Des Moines so it’s a good day for our economy.”

It’s a big deal in this economy when a high profile company like Google builds a data center. It’s our expectation that we will know soon enough abut the location of a new data center if indeed one is in the works.

Source for graphic on spending: Data Center Knowledge

alex williams