Google provides a sneak peek at its Moncks Corner, S.C., data center's security practices, showing both the physical and virtual security measures used to protect user data.
22 touted the security of its data center operations, offering the computing
world a rare glimpse of the physical security and data-protection schemes
employed in its data center operations.
engine produced this video
, shot at its Moncks Corner, S.C., facility,
one of dozens of data centers Google had built around the world to host
consumer and customer data generated by its search and Google Apps
Maps and other Web services are free, but Google charges $50 per user, per year
for the more secure enterprise-grade Google Apps for Business.
created by these services is hosted
on thousands of custom-built Google servers
running a bare-bones version of Linux.
Access to the
data centers itself is tightly controlled; there are no public tours or site
visits. Even employee access is restricted to necessary personnel. Google also
uses security fencing, security guards are on point 24/7 and several digital
security cameras are used to watch the data centers.
are the norm, but some data centers also practice biometric security via
retinal camera scans.
The video is
striking because, as Google noted, access to its data centers is "tightly
restricted." Google has always locked up its data centers to keep rivals
from gleaning information about its cloud-computing infrastructure, thus
gaining a competitive advantage.
The media has
juxtaposed the data center video with Facebook's Open Compute
project, in which the
company open sourced its data center hardware and schematics earlier this
was an open-source olive branch
to the computing community at large, but it was also a calculated play to urge
the creation of less expensive, commodity servers.
tour is an educational play designed to assure enterprises and federal agencies
considering a Google Apps collaboration software contract of its stringent data
contracts are especially popular since the U.S. government declared its intent
to move to cloud-computing systems more than a year ago.
Microsoft jousted over cloud collaboration contracts for such agencies as the
General Services Administration, and the Department of Interior. Google secured
the GSA deal and is suing
to block Microsoft from getting the $59
meanwhile, has done what it could to paint Google
as a liar over its government-security
video, Google can show prospective buyers in business and government alike how
seriously it treats the customer data it hosts.
Google in the
past couple of years has also worked on the software side to shore up data
security, adding two-step verification, default https encryption, attachment
viewing and mobile-device management in the browser, among other data-protection
3 million businesses that have gone Google and the thousands more that join
them every day, these features help ensure that their data is kept safe,"
said Adam Swidler, senior manager for Google Enterprise.
The data center
video should also help reassure concerned businesses.