In Pictures: Google’s giant datacentres – an inside look

Google releases new information on its enormous computing infrastructure

  • Inside Google The tech world has long speculated on the amount of computing power that it must take to run a network of web services as titanic as Google’s, but the company has always been famously paranoid about preserving the secrecy of its facilities – until now. The search giant has just released an illuminating series of photographs from within its data centers.

  • Scale… This picture, taken at Google’s Council Bluffs, Iowa, facility, gives a sense of the sheer scale of the company’s data centers.

  • …and complexity This is only part of the sophisticated cooling apparatus used to control temperatures at a Google facility in Douglas County, Ga. Workers apparently use the bike to get around the data center.

  • Backup Unsurprisingly, the Council Bluffs facility has a pretty big tape library for backup purposes.

  • From Iowa… The cooling towers at the Council Bluffs facility.

  • …to Georgia… Yes, like I said, Google has some BIG data centers.

  • … to Finland. The company’s recently opened facility at Hamina, Finland, saves on cooling costs by, you know, being in Finland. The ice-cold Gulf of Finland, in particular, helps a lot.

  • Maintenance Remember, kids, this Google employee, at the Mayes County, Okla., facility is a professional. Do not attempt to climb servers in your own data center.

  • A very serious clown And definitely don’t try to do what this Lenoir, N.C., employee is doing without expert training and supervision.

  • Swapping out motherboards This worker at Google’s facility in The Dalles, Ore., is replacing a motherboard, though we’ll admit we thought he was just expressing his frustrations at first.

  • Recycling To ensure the safety of user data, all failed drives are destroyed immediately, Google says.

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