As much as you might’ve thought there was a wizard behind Google’s curtain pulling levers and making the Internet, well, it’s not true. But Google’s secretive data centers were just as mysterious as the Great and Powerful Oz until the company pulled back the curtain this week to show photos of its huge rooms full of computers working away to process Internet search requests, send emails and beam YouTube clips around the world.
Google’s data centers are dotted around the globe in locations like Council Bluffs, Iowa, The Dalles, Ore., Finland and Belgium. New centers are under construction in Chile, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan. And now you can see a peek of what’s going on there via a new site Google unveiled today that invites you to “visit 8 places your computer has already been.” Kinda creepy wording, eh?
The site has photos from inside eight data centers as well as an upcoming virtual tour of a North Carolina data center that will feature Google’s “Street View” service for an almost in-person experience, reports the Associated Press.
Somewhat interesting is that none of the data centers are located near the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., but nevertheless are essentially the nerve center in Google’s brain. Not that distance means anything to a company that is keeping tabs on basically everything on the planet.
Don’t get your hopes up about a physical visit to one of the centers, however — Google doesn’t let just anyone into those buildings, and seems squirrelly about answering questions regarding just how many computers are involved in processing information for its billions of users. The only answer involves “hundreds of thousands of machines” that are used to run all of Google’s services.
And no humbug wizards from fantasy lands. Sigh.
Google Opens Window Into Secretive Data Centers [Associated Press]