The weird and wonderful places Google stores your data

Google has opened the doors to its data centres for the first time - via Google Street View - allowing the likes of you and me the chance to look at the company's huge server farms.

If that sounds boring, that's because it is. But, as always with Google, it's the way the company can somehow make the boring become beautiful and fun thanks to a well-placed Android robot model or some clever lighting.

"Very few people have stepped inside Google’s data centres, and for good reason: our first priority is the privacy and security of your data, and we go to great lengths to protect it, keeping our sites under close guard," explains Urs Hölzle, Google's senior vice-president, technical infrastructure, in a blog post about the news. "While we’ve shared many of our designs and best practices, and we’ve been publishing our efficiency data since 2008, only a small set of employees have access to the server floor itself." 

If you are feeling bored at work, you can now walk around the Lenoir data centre in North Carolina (virtually) using Street View - just as you would the standard Street View product on Google Maps.

Those who would rather be doing something better with their time should check out Connie Zhou's photographs of some of the more interesting rooms within Google's data centres around the world.

Take the data centre in Oregon (lead pic) those colourful pipes are responsible for carrying water in and out of our building. The blue pipes supply cold water and the red pipes return warm water back to be cooled.

Check out the two via links below to test the Street Maps of the Lenoir data centre yourself, and to see more of Connie Zhou's photos. 



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