The web is not wireless but is made up of huge warehouses of servers and data storage capacity. Here’s 10 photos from Google’s data centres.
Today, we think of nothing of sending a quick email, searching and browsing the internet, enjoying online shopping, or storing and sharing photos and videos.
But a vast physical network of data centres (also known as server farms) – full of servers and storage capacity – around the world is needed to support the explosion in the use of the internet.
To get a sense of the scale, here’s a selection of pictures of the inside and outside of data centres owned by Google, the world’s biggest search engine and provider of multiple online services.
These data centres – also known as server farms – can be so big that workers need transport to get around, for example on bicycles.
Hyper speed: fibre optic networks connecting Google data centres can run at speeds more than 200,000 times faster than a typical home Internet connection. The fibre cables run along the yellow cable trays near the ceiling in this photo from a US data centre in Council Bluffs, Iowa (photo credit: Google)
On your bike: Google data centres can be so big that workers need transport to get around. This photo is from the data centre in Douglas County, Georgia in the US (photo credit: Google)
Douglas County, Georgia US: Blue LEDs on this row of servers tell Google everything is running smoothly (photo credit: Google)
Pipework: Colourful pipes carry water in and out of Google’s Oregon data centre in the US. The blue pipes supply cold water and the red pipes return the warm water back to be cooled. (photo credit: Google)
Vast: Above the floor in Council Bluffs, Iowa, the scale of the Google data centre is clear (photo credit: Google)
Sunset: The Google data centre at Mayes County, Oklahoma in the US (photo credit: Google)
Mayes County, Oklahoma, US: Hundreds of fans funnel hot air from server racks into a cooling unit to be recirculated. The green lights are the server status LEDs reflecting from the front of servers. (photo credit: Google)
Dusk falls: The Google data centre in Douglas County, Georgia, just outside Atlanta in the US (photo credit: Google)
The Dalles, Oregon, US: Cables organised by their colour to make things less technical (photo credit: Google)
Back up: Information in the tape library at the data centre in Berkeley County, South Carolina, US. Robotic arms help load and unload tapes (photo credit: Google)
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