It's a colo hotel, with floors an entire block in size that are nothing but vast datacenter spaces.
Here's the cable conduit:
Here's Google's "office". Each of the colos fills this kind of space with cabinets or racks:
If you walk up or down 15th or 16th street and look at the windows, you'll see which floors are datacenter space because their windows are blocked out. For example:
// We've been colo'd at 111 8th for a decade.
Here are a lot more pictures of that space:
http://picasaweb.google.com/photos.jobs/NewYorkOfficePhotos (linked from http://www.google.com/intl/en/jobs/uslocations/new-york/)
There are also a handful of other companies - such as barnesandnoble.com - with office space in this building.
Some of the floors might be datacenter space, but a huge amount of it is also people-office space.
// As an aside, it's curious that 60 Hudson St looks so much like one end of 111 8th Ave.
Also the article itself states that they likely aren't that interested in hosting their own servers in this building:
Google’s purchase of the building provides access to additional office space for its growing New York sales and engineering operation at 111 8th Avenue...
While Google could build out its own data center space at 111 8th Avenue, the cost of power in New York probably precludes a massive server farm in the building. Most of Google’s large-scale data centers are located in suburban or rural areas with cheaper power.
That it contains offices is of secondary importance. We don't describe Interpol suspects by starting with the characteristic that they are 60% water.
Also, the citation is speculation ("probably"). If the cost of power "precludes" a massive server farm in the building, there wouldn't be multiple massive server farms in the building. Our cost for power in Manhattan is only negligibly different than in Texas.
The quote about rural areas with cheap power has nothing to do with the importance of being at 111 8th Ave for peering.
That is a huge assumption on your part.
Our cost for power in Manhattan is only negligibly different than in Texas.
The consumer cost may be similar, but any smart company building data centers will try to find deals that reduce their cost well below what consumers pay. Those deals tend to be easier to find in rural areas.
Google's only interest to date in this building is that it houses a growing number of employees, and is currently at 2000. Google is not in the high frequency trading business, and so is unlikely to have too much interest in the advantages of the location for peering. There is therefore no reason to believe that Google cares about anything other than the advantages of being their own landlord and guaranteeing access to enough co-located office space for their needs.
(Note, I am currently employed at Google. However I have no inside knowledge about this deal.)
Well, that's what the article being linked to is for :)
More headlines like saying "Google bought an office building":
- "Netflix offering $100,000 an hour for color video"
- "Google spends $6M stock to keep computer user from Facebook"
- "Joe Lieberman demands Amazon.com take English-language documents offline"
They're true, but they're not the point.
Power is expensive in big cities but so is infinite bandwidth and the speed of light is still annoyingly finite.
To the commenter who said this is a great sign for the New York tech scene, I guess I agree, but this needs to be seen as a rebound from a low point. After all, there was a point back in the 90s when DoubleClick seemed a dominant power, and at that time New York seemed like the natural center of the advertising industry, and it seemed like New York's dominance of advertising would last forever -- all of which later was called in question.
The office has a lot of the amenities that I guess you would associate with a modern high tech company -- there is a game room with pool tables and foos ball and ping pong, there is some nice design elements, there is a little museum of old computers in one of the hallways, people ride down the hallways on scoot rides, there are bunch of little coffee shops where everything is free, and there is a room you can go and get a massage.
For all that, though, I agree with the commenter who said the place is a little dumpy. I'm surprised this place is worth $1.9 billion - I'm always a little surprised at how expensive New York real estate is.
(Source: I was an intern there last summer and visit friends there every so often)
Does anyone know the Manhattan real estate market? is 1.9 B a steal?
That's closer in "speed of light" to Wall St than the Newark / Jersey City colos, but computer trading tends to be in Jersey so that's where you'd go if wire speed is your goal.
Try 165 Halsey St in Newark. Here's a map of who is already on each floor. Morgan Stanley has the entire 2nd floor:
If I've left any out, please feel free to add as a comment.
Am I correct in thinking that New York City planning regulations would make it damn near impossible to tear down that dumpy-looking building and build a shiny new one?
Go to the bottom.
They will want the current tenants to stay, so that Google will have top-shelf speed to all their customers' networks at a low cost.
"But at 2.9 million square feet, it has more space than the Empire State Building and plenty of room for Google to grow."
Walking into work via a half a block long corridor with cable strung over your head and the clack of your feet echoing along it is a great way to start the day
No, that would be common sense talking.
The politicians would love for them to blow a couple of billion on construction crews in a down economy. They'd do some very personal favors for Serge and Larry to have that happen.
i feel financial products are essentially "information product" to begin with.