If you have been curious about the massive global computer that Google is building — now is your chance to get some perspective. The Google Blog has cautiously lifted the curtain:
Google’s data centers: an inside look: “Very few people have stepped inside Google’s data centers, and for good reason: our first priority is the privacy and security of your data, and we go to great lengths to protect it, keeping our sites under close guard. While we’ve shared many of our designs and best practices, and we’ve been publishing our efficiency data since 2008, only a small set of employees have access to the server floor itself.
Today, for the first time, you can see inside our data centers and pay them a virtual visit. On Where the Internet lives, our new site featuring beautiful photographs by Connie Zhou, you’ll get a never-before-seen look at the technology, the people and the places that keep Google running.
In addition, you can now explore our Lenoir, NC data center at your own pace in Street View. Walk in the front door, head up the stairs, turn right at the ping-pong table and head down the hall to the data center floor. Or take a stroll around the exterior of the facility to see our energy-efficient cooling infrastructure. You can also watch a video tour to learn more about what you’re viewing in Street View and see some of our equipment in action.
For a deeper perspective see Steven Levy’s excellent new article at Wired.