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EMF Studies

18 October 2012

Google Data Centers Act as Beating Heart of the Digital Age

The Dales, Oregon Google Data Center.  The cables are
organized by their specific color.
“Google’s data centers run hundreds of thousands of machines… Its need for so many computers has turned the company into a major electricity user, although management says it's constantly looking for ways to reduce power consumption to protect the environment and lower its expenses…” Thank you to my Facebook friends for this article, which offers virtual tours of one of its data centers and colorful photos (click here).

Google reveals ‘top secret’ data centres that act as beating heart of the digital age
from AP, News Limited Network, published in Perth Now, 18 October 2012 

· Inside glimpse of data centers powering Google
· Search engine indexes 20 billion web pages a day 
· Handles more than 3 billion daily search queries 

GOOGLE has opened a fascinating virtual window into its secretive data centres, where a maze of computers process internet search requests, distribute Gmail and show YouTube video clips for billions of people.

The unprecedented peek inside the most powerful server network on Earth is being provided through a new Google's updated Data Centres website.

The site features photos from inside some of the eight data centres that Google already has running in the US, Finland and Belgium. Google is also building data centres in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Chile.

Virtual tours of a North Carolina data centre are available through Google's Street View service, which is usually used to view photos of neighbourhoods around the world.

The photographic access to Google's data centres coincides with the publication of a Wired magazine article about how the company builds and operates them.

The article is written by Steven Levy, a journalist who won Google's trust while writing In The Plex, a book published last year about the company's philosophy and evolution.

The data centres represent Google's nerve centre, although none are located near the company's headquarters in Mountain View, California.

As Google blossomed from its roots in a Silicon Valley garage, company co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin worked with other engineers to develop a system to connect low-cost computer servers in a way that would help them realise their ambition to provide a digital roadmap to all of the world's information.

Initially, Google just wanted enough computing power to index all the websites on the Internet and deliver quick responses to search requests. As Google's tentacles extended into other markets, the company had to keep adding more computers to store videos, photos, email and information about their users' preferences.

The insights that Google gathers about the more than 1 billion people that use its services has made the company a frequent target of privacy complaints around the world. The latest missive came Tuesday in Europe, where regulators told Google to revise a 7-month-old change to its privacy policy that enables the company to combine user data collected from its different services.

Google studies Internet search requests and Web surfing habits in an effort to gain a better understanding of what people like. The company does this in an effort to show ads of products and services to the people most likely to be interested in buying them. Advertising accounts for virtually all of Google's revenue, which totaled nearly $US23 billion ($22.4 billion) through the first half of this year.

Even as it allows anyone with a Web browser to peer into its data centres, Google intends to closely guard physical access to its buildings. The company also remains cagey about how many computers are in its data centres, saying only that they house hundreds of thousands of machines to run Google's services.

Google's need for so many computers has turned the company a major electricity user, although management says it's constantly looking for ways to reduce power consumption to protect the environment and lower its expenses.

The company's data centres are located in: Berkeley County, South Carolina; Council Bluffs, Iowa; Douglas County, Georgia.; Mayes County, Oklahoma.; Lenoir, North Carolina; The Dalles, Oregon.; Hamina, Finland; and St. Ghislain, Belgium. Other data centres are being built in Quilicura, Chile; Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan.

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