After winning the Israeli government's Nimbus cloud tender, Google is expanding its presence in Israel by building data centers to provide the required services to government ministries, the Israel Defense Forces and other state authorities and companies. Google has already leased land for three data centers in Petah Tikva, Modi'in, and Moshav Bnei Zion, and is now making plans for a fourth data center nearby in the Sharon region near Moshav Beit Yehoshua.
Sources familiar with the matter have told "Globes" that Google Cloud executives are working with Schonfeld Engineering, managed by Yossi Schonfeld, to locate land for and build it a fourth data center. Schonfeld Engineering is in talks to buy two lots covering an acre in the Ashdar Park next to the Beit Yehoshua railway station for NIS 15 million. This would not be enough land for a data center and Schonfeld will presumably increase the size of the land by purchasing adjacent lots.
For example the lot on Moshav Bnei Zion on which Server Farm and Bezeq International are building a lot for Google is 2.25 acres in size, and even that is considered small by international standards for new data centers. The data center being built by Amazon Web Services (AWS) in Israel is on 3.75 acres of land.
The terms of the Nimbus tender require a distance of 25 kilometers between each data center - which is met by the distances between Petah Tikva, Modi'in and Bnei Zion, although it is less than five kilometers between Bnei Zion and Beit Yehoshua.
Google Cloud does not need the fourth site for the Nimbus tender but is interested in dispersing the risks as much as possible in order to create continuous service for its customers in the event that one of the data centers has a breakdown.
Google Cloud is currently making intensive efforts to court Israel's financial institutions like the banks and insurance companies, which are rapidly shifting to the cloud as well as security and defense bodies which mainly work with Microsoft.
While some of the residents of Bnei Zion are opposed to the construction of a data center close to their homes because of its need for diesel based generators and noisy chilling systems, the residents of Beit Yehoshua have no such problems because the data center would be built far from their homes, near the cement factory and the railway station. The village does not foresee any major environmental ramifications from a data center.
In the past Schonfeld Engineering has specialized in building logistics centers and in recent years the company has also emerged as one of the leading Israeli companies in the data center construction center. Schonfeld built the nine megawatt SDS data center for Microsoft and Goggle in the Ligad Industrial Zone of Modi'in, which should be ready for operations in early 2022. Schonfeld is also planning to build a bigger data in the center of the country.
The Hof Hasharon Regional Council and Schonfeld Engineering declined to respond to the report.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on November 11, 2021.
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