Data + Design Project

The Google Data Centers: A Rare Inside Look

Thursday 11.01.2012 , Posted by
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The people at Google are fond of pointing out the power of their massive network of data centers. For many of us though, the only peek we get at that power is the massive amount of Youtube videos we watch and the way we manage to “Google” just about anything we can think of. This then, is a look inside the physical workings of what makes the Google side of the internet tick. It’s a lot more colorful than you’d expect and just as large as you can imagine.

These images take us to Iowa, Oregon, Belgium, Georgia, South Carolina, Oklahoma and Finland, showing us the inner workings of these data crunching locations. As explained at google.com/about/datacenters, the colorful interiors of these places often serve far more than a fun purpose. In the case of the hard working, pipe filled (and colorfully Google branded) server cooling rooms, each color designates the function of the pipe. Be sure to see the near camouflaged G-Bike at the bottom of this post – it’s the vehicle of choice for team members to get around the data centers.

Below we’re taken on a video tour of Google’s Lenoir, North Carolina based Data Center (or take a self-guided, Google Streetview-like tour here):

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Benjamin Starr

Written by Benjamin Starr



Known in some circles as the most amazing man in the universe, he once saved an entire family of muskrats from a sinking, fire engulfed steamboat while recovering from two broken arms relating to a botched no-chute wingsuit landing in North Korea. When not impressing people with his humbling humility, he can be found freelance writing, finding shiny objects on the internet, enjoying the company of much-appreciated friends and living out his nomadic nature. He is Managing Editor of Visual News. Follow his movements on Twitter:

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