Google gives us a sneak peek inside its massive data centers (and it’s awesome)

Google calls it “where the Internet lives.”

That’s a bit of hyperbole, of course, because even though the world’s largest search engine indexes perhaps 50 billion web pages, the Internet itself is more than just Google.

But Google’s millions of servers are certainly “one of the most powerful server networks in the known Universe,” as Google says, and almost certainly the most powerful server network on the planet. And today the company is giving the universe a sneak peek inside with a cool online picture gallery.

That gallery, surprisingly, is short on information, saying little about the actual technical details, such as the probably 2 million servers Google runs, including almost half a million at its Georgia data center. Or how many billions of miles of Ethernet cable the company uses.

But it does have a very cool view of the places your computer has already been via Google. Apparently, while I’m sitting here with my butt in my chair, my MacBook Air may be virtually visiting Hamina, Finland, St. Ghislain, Belgium, and assorted U.S. destinations like Iowa and Oklahoma.

And Google does give us some amazing pictures of the machines that connect our lives.

Check them out:

From Google: “Server floors like these require massive space and efficient power to run the full family of Google products for the world. Here in Hamina, Finland, we chose to renovate an old paper mill to take advantage of the building’s infrastructure as well as its proximity to the Gulf of Finland’s cooling waters.”

From Google: “These colorful pipes are responsible for carrying water in and out of our Oregon data center. The blue pipes supply cold water and the red pipes return the warm water back to be cooled.”

From Google: “A beautiful landscape forms during winter in Finland, as the gulf ices over and creates a picturesque view.”

From Google: “Blue LEDs on this row of servers tell us everything is running smoothly. We use LEDs because they are energy efficient, long lasting and bright.”

From Google: “Steam rises above the cooling towers in The Dalles data center in Oregon. These plumes of water vapor create a quiet mist at dusk.”

From Google: “This family of deer have moved in next to our Council Bluffs, Iowa center.”


More images via

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