Welcome to Googles Lenoir, N.C., Data Center - Google Gate

 
 
By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2008-05-23
 
 
 

Welcome to Googles Lenoir, N.C., Data Center

By Clint Boulton

Location, Location, Location

Google's Lenoir data center is at 708 Lynhaven St., a side road off an industrial main drag populated by factories, strip malls and other bustling shops.

Welcome to Googles Lenoir, N.C., Data Center

Welcome to Googles Lenoir, N.C., Data Center - Google Gate

This ominous-looking wrought-iron gate protects the data center castle, which spans several thousand square feet. Google notoriously protects its data centers to prevent rivals such as Microsoft and Yahoo from gaining competitive advantage, but servers are servers-

Welcome to Googles Lenoir, N.C., Data Center - Google Gate

Welcome to Googles Lenoir, N.C., Data Center - Halt! Who Goes There?

This photo shows one of the dozens of security guards in front of the data center. Did we mention security was tight? eWEEK was stopped by four Google security guards and a state trooper on the road into the event. 

Welcome to Googles Lenoir, N.C., Data Center - Halt! Who Goes There?

Welcome to Googles Lenoir, N.C., Data Center - Sci-Fi Movie Set?

 

Local Lenoir folk, who have been known to call this facility Area 51, often whisper about what Google is doing here. This wide view of the data center shows numerous catwalks and water tanks, which are used to cool the machines inside. Water is piped in from local reservoirs and watering supplies.

 

Welcome to Googles Lenoir, N.C., Data Center - Sci-Fi Movie Set?

Welcome to Googles Lenoir, N.C., Data Center - North Carolina Governor Thanks Google

North Carolina Gov. Michael Easley talks about how the data center is bringing hundreds of jobs to Caldwell County . "This is important that Google is here and managing this right. We have a lot invested in this, and this is a great county for you to be in," he told the 100 or so people who attended the ceremony. "We're certain that Google will put its best foot forward, and I don't think Google has anything but good feet." 

  

Welcome to Googles Lenoir, N.C., Data Center - North Carolina Governor Thanks Google

Welcome to Googles Lenoir, N.C., Data Center - Definition

Andy Johnson, Google's manager of global data center development, says Lenoir lured Google with its hard workers and culture. For non-techies, Johnson explained the Google data center as a "bunch of computers that are going to serve you search queries and Gmail requests." That's simplifying things a bit. Johnson told eWEEK after the event that the machines inside run Google's distributed computing infrastructure, including BigTable, MapReduce and the Global File System.

Welcome to Googles Lenoir, N.C., Data Center - Definition

Welcome to Googles Lenoir, N.C., Data Center - Ribbon Cutting

From left to right, Google data center manager Tom Jacobik, Lenoir Mayor David Barlow, North Carolina Gov. Michael Easley, Caldwell County Board of Commissioners Chairman Herb Greene and Google's Andy Johnson cut the ribbon to the Lenoir data center. Though the data center is not complete, the event confirmed that the facility is on its way.

 

Welcome to Googles Lenoir, N.C., Data Center - Ribbon Cutting

Welcome to Googles Lenoir, N.C., Data Center - Google Invites Lenoir Community for a Barbecue

After the ribbon was cut, several buses took the ceremony attendants and some 2,000 Lenoir residents up the hill to a flattened construction site for a barbecue. In addition to pulled pork, baked beans and hush puppies from the local Hannah's Bar-B-Q, the gathering included live music, as well as a tent in which Google demonstrated its search and other apps for the attendees. Pictured here: a tent full of Googlers discussing what they do at the data center.

Welcome to Googles Lenoir, N.C., Data Center - Google Invites Lenoir Community for a Barbecue

Welcome to Googles Lenoir, N.C., Data Center - Whats in Back?

 

What-

Welcome to Googles Lenoir, N.C., Data Center - Whats in Back?

Welcome to Googles Lenoir, N.C., Data Center - Whats Inside?

 

This is the closest eWEEK got to a look inside the data center. It's dark and, again, it is impossible to tell what is housed within, even though the doors are open (teasing curious passersby). Notice the security tape. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Googles Lenoir, N.C., Data Center - Whats Inside?

Rocket Fuel