Beautiful photos of Google's data centers will blow your mind

By on October 17, 2012, 3:00 PM

To the delight of nerds everywhere, Google has thrown together a beautiful exposè of its cutting-edge data centers located around the world. Glimpses inside the search giant's facilities -- data centers, in particular -- are considered a rare treat, but the company has published several dozen gorgeous 3000x2000 photos in full HDR glory to: Where the Internet Lives. Google also allowed a select group of journalists and other industry professionals to tour their facilities.

Although Google is certainly hoping to impress onlookers with its photography and compositional skills, each image also has an informative caption which stitches together a larger story of what goes on at Google. The subtext for the photo above, for example, states that Google has thousands of feet worth of pipe line laid for just keeping the facility cool. The bright colors are also not just for looks either -- each pipe is color coded to easily identify its purpose.

Shots include Google's vibrantly colored infrastructure, expansive floors of endless servers, a dramatically lit conference room (with a sauna, of course) set against a bitter-cold backdrop and a facility nestled alongside rolling green hills and open skies. Below is just nine of the 84 photos Google has made publicly available. 

Crawling and indexing billions of pages every day is no easy feat. Google has steadily grown over the years and continues to push cutting-edge technologies to improve its efficiency, capacity and abilities. Last year the company showed off its seawater cooling system -- a development which keeps its Finland facility operating smoothly. Google claims it is the only Internet company to eliminate its impact on the environment through means of recycling, alternative energy and smart engineering.




User Comments: 20

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1 person liked this | tomkaten tomkaten said:

That is jaw dropping ! The data centers are incredible, everything's neatly arranged, and the pictures are worthy of a Nat Geo photo montage.

Well done, Google, you rock !

Guest said:

Lol @ the stormtrooper and r2-d2 guarding the facility.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

That's some incredible (and beautiful) infrastructure work. No wonder they're so successful - everything is perfect.

davislane1 davislane1 said:

Phenomenal photo set! As tomkaten said, worthy of a spot in National Geographic.

Strangely enough, browsing through the collection makes me want to fire up Mirror's Edge. Must be all of the loud colors and unbelievably clean & organized facilities.

Guest said:

The first photo reminded me of the engine chamber of the Enterprise in Abram's Star Trek movie. :D

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

Dr. Evil designed most of it

Staff
Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

Wow, those are some of the most amazing facilities I have seen!

Khanonate said:

Google your my hero!

dawei1993 said:

I love the deer herd lol

Zoltan Head said:

It reminds me of most factories I have ever seen, apart from the venison production zone.

hitech0101 said:

I think the internet will look the same minus the google ads.

Guest said:

The brainwashing center

MilwaukeeMike said:

I wonder if anyone at microsoft is annoyed that google used the exact same four colors as the MS logo for their color scheme.

I like google products and I use many of them, but it annoys me that a company with almost infinite resources builds self driving cars and space elevators. Why not something useful like fixing traffic jams or the countless improvements to technology in healthcare that could be made.

I know colorful datacenters and streetview shots are cool, but it reminds me a lot of a kid who got ahold of dads credit card. Do something useful guys.

pmshah said:

The different colors used have a purpose behind it. I first saw this kind of color scheme when I visited a manufacturer's premises in France some 12 years ago. This is something similar to to colored trsacks and arrows used in some major hospitals in US.

Each different colored pipe - similar to color coded electrical wiring in cars and homes - encloses very specific type of conduit, cable, liquid - or what have you. Looks far better than the different shades of grey you see in the unfinished basements of most US homes ! BTW you don't feel depressed.

tomkaten tomkaten said:

I like google products and I use many of them, but it annoys me that a company with almost infinite resources builds self driving cars and space elevators.

I don't think computer controlled cars and space elevators can be counted as anything else but amazing research areas and I deeply respect Google's vision and willingness to invest in stuff that will someday benefit the entire world.

You could always argue that money could be better used in more mundane environments, but if the past taught us something it's that we'll never get anywhere if we wait to fix everything there is to fix first. Just look at the Spanish and Portuguese discovering new continents, while the rest of the medieval world was doing this. Or look at Mukesh Ambani's residence, a few short miles away from the filthiest of slums.

MilwaukeeMike said:

I like google products and I use many of them, but it annoys me that a company with almost infinite resources builds self driving cars and space elevators.

I don't think computer controlled cars and space elevators can be counted as anything else but amazing research areas and I deeply respect Google's vision and willingness to invest in stuff that will someday benefit the entire world.

You could always argue that money could be better used in more mundane environments, but if the past taught us something it's that we'll never get anywhere if we wait to fix everything there is to fix first. Just look at the Spanish and Portuguese discovering new continents, while the rest of the medieval world was doing this. Or look at Mukesh Ambani's residence, a few short miles away from the filthiest of slums.

I agree, and I'm not in favor of ditching the space program to spend the money on social security, but a self driving car is a solution to a pretty minor problem. I totally beleive they'll be safer (they can react in a millisecond, while we take almost a whole second, and that's IF we're actually looking at the road.), but it's still not something we need.

I'm not suggesting they 'fix' something per se, but think if they applied their knowledge of algorithims etc to mapping bacteria and DNA and advanced the field of personalized medicine. There are plenty of new things that can be done to figure out how the thousands of different bacteria in your gut contributes to your caloric intake. Simply put, they could figure out why some people get fatter than others when eating the same food. It's not fixing anything, it's completely new. Think of the ripple effect solving obesity would have... billions upon billions of dollars saved in healthcare and increased quality of life for millions of people. If we wait for govt grants to figure this stuff out we'll all be dead before it happens.

Don't get me wrong... I do NOT think google has a responsibilty because they're capable. I just wish they'd do something more useful.

tomkaten tomkaten said:

I hear you, and you're right. There are so many research areas that would change this world for the better with appropriate funding, it's not even funny. But in a world where billions slip through society's bureaucratic cracks, where military funding tops everything else and where everyone seems to be drifting away from progress, I sure am glad that someone still supports such noble endeavors.

They're involved in many charities, most of them dealing with pressing matters that have failed to get the required funding. I think the odd passion of investing in some of its founders' "childhood dreams" is perfectly understandable in a way Check this out:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google.org

And sorry about the digression, I just went with the flow

3DCGMODELER 3DCGMODELER said:

Wow wo wow wow wo w

TechMancer TechMancer said:

First picture looks like LEGO bricks .

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