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Google shows us where the internet lives

Google has launched a new website to give members of the public a peek into its immaculate high-tech datacentres.

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Michelle Starr

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Google pipes

Google has launched a new website to give members of the public a peek into its immaculate high-tech datacentres.

Ever wondered what happens behind Google's closed doors? Imagined the blinking lights, the quiet hum of a thousand thousand servers?

Internet giant Google has possibly the most powerful server network on the planet. It needs to; the multibillion-dollar company receives billions of search queries on a daily basis, as well as serving a multitude of customer services such as email, document programs, cloud storage, email, social networks and YouTube.

The gallery below shows the insides of eight Google datacentres around the globe: Council Bluffs, Iowa; The Dalles, Oregon; Douglas County, Georgia; Lenoir, North Carolina; Berkeley County, South Carolina; Pryor, Oklahoma; Saint Ghislain, Belgium; and Hamina, Finland.

There's something almost reverence-inducing about the large spaces filled with pipes and wires and lights and automated processes, from the brightly coloured water-cooling pipes to the servers humming about their business in the dark.

Pipes painted in Google's colours carry cool water to allay the heat generated by the datacentre in Douglas County, Georgia. And that bike? That's the official Google bike.

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Blue heaven

Blue LEDs are used to indicate that all is well in Google server land.

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Server space

This is just one of Google's server floors in Hamina, Finland. The company found the perfect building there: an old paper mill that required minimal renovation, and that is close to the Gulf of Finland for access to water for cooling.

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Letting off steam

The Dalles, Oregon, facility releases steam from its cooling towers at the end of the day.

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What a dish!

Satellite dishes and antennas at the Council Bluffs, Iowa, facility help provide fibre-optic access to users around the world via Google's Access Services unit. They also receive and send the signal for Google Fiber TV's channels.

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Wired up

Even Google's wires are Google coloured!

There's a lot more to see, too. Take a look at the full galleries at the Google Data Centers web page here.

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