Google Data Center locations
In recent years, Google has opened the doors of its Data Centers to reveal the dark but fascinating world of the information processing industry, its cables, colorful conduits, storage bays and endless corridors. These centers which receive our search requests, research queries, and especially the myriad forms of content generated each passing second by businesses and individuals, are scattered around the globe. This Google network crosses continents and oceans: from Oregon to Taiwan, from Chile to Finland.
Our map is based on official data provided by Google and shows not only that the United States is deeply embedded, but also that localisation also occurs at distant points in much of this infrastructure. This map is basic, perhaps even simplistic. But we would say it conveys an idea of how well Google is established across the world – and it should be understood that the network is certainly broader and more complex than this map might initially suggest.
With data centers being what they are, Google being what it is, and the world always producing more information, we can safely leave the reader to assume that the map remains incomplete.
Google’s astronomical statistics
Google has confirmed to the Search Engine Land website (article here) that it processes trillions of searches per year (1 trillion = 1000 billion). Another article suggested that the search engine had knowledge of 130 trillion pages. And finally, YouTube.com, the jewel of the Google empire, has 1 billion users (as confirmed on the official YouTube website) – a considerable slice of humanity. Mega data (the recommended term for “big data”) is therefore a reality at Google, which has to handle the processing of immeasurable amounts of information.
If data centers can occupy “a room, an entire floor, or a tall building,” as Wikipedia so aptly describes, Google’s own data centers are big complexes with striking architecture. But within data centers, and those of Google in particular, energy consumption is no longer a minor problem. This primarily relates to cooling requirements: during computing operations, because an electronic device generates heat, and if the environment becomes too hot it can destroy the device. Thus Google Data Centers have become synonymous with ingenious, large-scale cooling systems. For instance, a rainwater retention pond which serves as a source of cooling (Berkeley County, South Carolina), or seawater from the Gulf of Finland used for the same purpose (Hamina, Finland). Moreover, Scandinavian countries in particular have something to celebrate, given the advantageous conditions they can offer: a cold environment to counter the heat.
In effect, a simple query entered in a search engine (say Google, as in 9 out of 10 instances in France) is not neutral in terms of energy consumption, and therefore has an environmental impact.
Google’s environmental commitment
According to a report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, highlighted by Google, the Mountain View group is by far the largest consumer of renewable energy among major US computer companies. Moreover, by 2017, Google had promised to use 100% renewable energy. 2017 thus became a key year for Google’s communications on the topic. This information relates to an early environmental commitment, which was quite logical at the time, given the importance of such resources and the supposed expectations of the general public.
Once the public gain a better understanding of the phenomenon of data storage, there will undoubtedly be new questions which will impose even greater transparency and new commitments on all major digital companies.
Virtual site visits
Let’s return to Google Data Centers. For pictures certainly worth a thousand words, we recommend you to take a look at the beautiful pictures Google provides on its official webpages. The sometimes sublime images we see reveal an unknown universe, the backstage part of our information society, the places where data is analyzed, classified and transferred. All at lightning speed.
Source : https://www.google.com/intl/en/about/datacenters/gallery/#/