/> ED I T O R S C H O I C E IN N O V A T IO N A W A R D
X

Peeping inside Google's data centers (pictures)

Want to see a lot of cables? The Internet giant offers a look inside several of its data centers in the United States, Finland, and Belgium.

stephenshankland.jpg
Stephen Shankland
google-datacenter-tech-02.jpg
1 of 14 Google/Connie Zhou

Google data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa

Google's data centers can be vast. This one in Council Bluffs, Iowa, has more than 115,000 square feet of room.
google-datacenter-tech-10.jpg
2 of 14 Google/Connie Zhou

Google's colored pipes

Google's data centers use color-coded pipes to indicate what they're used for. Pink means water headed for outside cooling towers.
google-datacenter-people-02.jpg
3 of 14 Google/Connie Zhou

Fixing a Google server

Denise Harwood diagnoses an overheating CPU inside a long aisle between racks of computing gear in a Google data center.
Google-data-center-storm-trooper.jpg
4 of 14 Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Stormtrooper on guard

Google's Street View tour of a North Carolina data center includes this humorous view of including a Stormtrooper and R2-D2 droid from "Star Wars."
google-datacenter-places-08.jpg
5 of 14 Google/Connie Zhou

Google's Atlanta data center by night

A Google data center outside Atlanta, Ga.
google-datacenter-tech-21.jpg
6 of 14 Google/Connie Zhou

Colored cables in Google data center

Google uses huge numbers of servers, as evidenced by this long shot down one data center aisle. The colored cables are standardized across the company's data centers worldwide so their function is clearer.
google-datacenter-places-01.jpg
7 of 14 Google/Connie Zhou

Google satellite dish

Antennas such as this one receive satellite communications signals used to pipe TV into homes subscribing to the Google Fiber broadband service.
google-datacenter-places-07.jpg
8 of 14 Google/Connie Zhou

Google cooling towers

These are the water tanks and cooling towers for Google's data center in Saint Ghislain, Belgium.
google-datacenter-places-10.jpg
9 of 14 Google/Connie Zhou

Google data center in North Carolina

Google's data center at Lenoir, N.C.
google-datacenter-places-19.jpg
10 of 14 Google/Connie Zhou

Oklahoma data center from the air

Google's data center in Pryor, Okla.
google-datacenter-tech-04.jpg
11 of 14 Google/Connie Zhou

Cold curtains

Transparent plastic curtains keep the cool air around servers in a Google data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
google-datacenter-tech-08.jpg
12 of 14 Google/Connie Zhou

Dead hard drives

Hard drives that fail are wiped then destroyed on site. Here's a pile of some that were spiked by the Google procedure.
google-datacenter-tech-09.jpg
13 of 14 Google/Connie Zhou

Insulated pipes

The U-bend on these insulated pipes provides wiggle room for expansion and contraction as temperatures change.
google-datacenter-tech-11.jpg
14 of 14 Google/Connie Zhou

Google data center bike

Google employees use bicycles to get around their data centers.

More Galleries