The COVID-19 pandemic has hammered Greece’s economy. A new $1 billion investment by Microsoft could help the country’s economic recovery. The U.S. tech giant plans to build three data centers in historic Athens.
Greece recently emerged from a years-long financial crisis. Now the country faces recession due to effects of the global pandemic. Production suffers, and unemployment has risen.
Like many nations, tourism produces many jobs in Greece—and that’s taken a sharp plunge during the pandemic. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis wants to shift the economy toward energy, tech, and defense. Microsoft’s investment in data centers there could go a long way toward that goal.
Data centers house no goods. Instead, they store computing, networking, and communications equipment. Their purpose is to collect, store, process, and distribute immense volumes of information using servers (data storage devices). Customers such as government agencies, banks, schools, and social networking services then access the data via the internet.
The vast amount of data flowing from today’s cellphones, computers, gaming consoles, and other devices means the need for storage is constantly growing.
That’s right: Data (emails, photos, files, locations, etc.) take up actual physical storage space. Have you or a family member ever needed to delete cellphone photos because the storage was full? Have you trashed emails to free up computer space? The data take up real space on a hard drive.
And storing things “in the cloud” doesn’t mean data simply float around. There must still be a storage space somewhere, usually at a data center.
Some data centers hold tens of thousands of blinking, buzzing servers; others just a few. The size of a center depends on the size of the company it supports. Giants like Amazon, Facebook, and Google have multiple massive data centers all over the world. Microsoft currently runs data centers in 26 countries.
Imagine how much God knows. He stores all the details of the whole universe, right down to the hairs on every human head. He is certainly worthy of awe, worship, and praise!
Microsoft’s Greek data centers include training programs for about 100,000 workers, educators, and students. That large business will likely create even more jobs by causing a ripple effect into other Greek industries.
“This significant investment is a reflection of our confidence in the Greek economy, in the Greek people, and the Greek government,” declares Microsoft president Brad Smith.
“The creation of a data center upgrades a country as an investment destination,” Mitsotakis says. Playing off his nation’s lovely weather with a touch of computer humor, he adds, “Greece has the Sun, and now it’s getting a cloud.”