Google Data Centers Give Off a Blade-Runner Vibe

 
 
By Nathan Eddy  |  Posted 2012-10-18
 
 
 

Hovering Above the Floor

A view from above the floor in Council Bluffs, Iowa, shows the scale of the data center begins to take shape. Huge steel beams both support the structure and help distribute power.

Hovering Above the Floor

Switch It Up

That's a lot of networking: These Ethernet switches connect Google's facilities network, and communicate with and monitor the main controls for the cooling system in the data center.

Switch It Up

Tapes and Tapes

This is a view of the backup tapes in Google's tape library. Each tape has a unique barcode so the robotic system can locate the right one.

Tapes and Tapes

Fanning Out

Hundreds of fans funnel hot air from the server racks into a cooling unit to be recirculated. The green lights are the server status LEDs reflecting from the front of our servers.

Fanning Out

Color Coding

Each of Google's server racks have four networking switches, connected by a different colored cable. The colors are the same throughout the data center so Google knows which one to replace in case of failure.

Color Coding

Cool Blue

The search company uses bright, long-lasting LED lights to convey server information. The blue light means everything is running smoothly.

Cool Blue

Keeping Cool

Water storage tanks and cooling towers sit on the roof of Google's data center in Saint Ghislain, Belgium, as the sun sinks.

Keeping Cool

Important Infrastructure

"Working here has shown me how important the infrastructure is, from the location to utilities, weather and most of all, people," said Google's Ash Williams, who works at the Douglas County, Ga., data center.

Important Infrastructure

Phoning Home

In Council Bluffs, Iowa, this massive antenna receives signals for the company's Access Services unit, which brings fiber optics to residential homes all over the globe.

Phoning Home

Data Destruction

Google destroys all failed drives on site as part of the company's effort to protect user data. This image shows a pile of failed drives from the Belgian data center.

Data Destruction

Rocket Fuel