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A Look At Google's Newest Data Center

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the hey-google-gimme-a-tour dept.

IT 75

miller60 writes "Google doesn't allow the public inside its secret data centers. But a recent groundbreaking event at the company's new South Carolina data center provided glimpses of the exterior of the facility, which shows a design that has evolved since Google's Oregon data center made front page news. A new feature: an open, lighted area resembling a parking deck (containers?). Still missing: moats filled with sharks with friggin' laser beams on their head."

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McCain (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25467881)

HE spent 5 years in a POW camp for your freedom and your not going to vote for him ?

Re:McCain (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25467895)

Surely he's suffered enough already

Re:McCain (0)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 5 years ago | (#25467947)

I gave up watching pop idol years ago

Obama (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25467921)

He spent 5 years at an Indonesian Muslim school as an Indonesian citizen and used the name Barry Sotero and you're not going to vote for him?

Re:Obama (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25468937)

Obama's missing records:

1. Occidental College records -- Not released
2. Columbia College records -- Not released
3. Columbia Thesis paper -- Not Available
4. Harvard College records -- Not released
5. Selective Service Registration -- Not Released
6. Medical records -- Not Released
7. Illinois State Senate schedule -- Not Available
8. Law practice client list -- Not Released
9. Certified Copy of original Birth Certificate -- Not Released
10. Embossed, signed paper Certification of Live Birth -- Not Released
11. Harvard Law Review articles published -- None
12. University of Chicago scholarly articles -- None
13. Your Record of baptism-- Not released or Not Available
14. Your Illinois State Senate records--Not Available

Re:Obama (0, Offtopic)

Kagura (843695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25470223)

Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.

Re:McCain (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25467925)

You can vote for him if you want another brain-dead invalid in the white house.

Would you change his diaper and feed him his mashed peas? Just don't use the "airplane" noises to "fly" the food into his mouth -- he'll run for the hills screaming something about some guy named Charlie.

Re:McCain (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25470581)

Well, Sarah does have experience looking after tards...

Re: sarah (2, Funny)

n0084ever (1042786) | more than 5 years ago | (#25470621)

well, call me a tard if you like, but she can come look after me any time she likes.

Re:McCain (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25467927)

He spent 8 years with his nose up George Bush's ass and your not going to vote for him?

Re:McCain (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25468707)

Obama spent his SINGLE TERM as senator voting along with GW just like everyone else including all other top dems. like clinton, kerry, you putz. Obama supporters are so stupid/blind/ignorant to see who he truly is, and he's no different than mccain, bush, or anyone else in the same system.

Re:McCain (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25469447)

he's no different than mccain, bush, or anyone else in the same system

If he's no different, might as well vote for the guy who doesn't risk a heart attack or stroke any minute.

Re:McCain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25470587)

And has a retard to back him up :-)

Re:McCain (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#25472507)

Actually I think the REAL question should be: Do you honestly think Sarah Palin is qualified to be President of the USA? Because lets face it,we are talking about a 72 year old cancer survivor. I don't know about you but I wouldn't want to bet on him surviving for eight more,or even four more years. While I think Biden sucks ass IMHO he is 1000% more qualified to be president than Mrs "Real America" hockey mom.

Don't forget this is a woman who said,quote "Ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up the economy." WTF does the bailout of wall street have to do with health care? Here [thinkprogress.org] is the clip. I think anyone who watches it will agree with John Cleese who said she is like a parrot spitting out her speeches and talking points without really knowing what she is talking about.

Re:McCain (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25468013)

So spending 5 years in a POW camp is all the qualifications needed to run the most powerful country in the world? What do you get for 7 years in a POW camp... Master of the Universe? What's the going rate for a seat in the senate? If somone pokes me in the eye can I get a junior position in the US Government? So please tell - I lurve intelligent debate.

Re:McCain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25472871)

yes, i think you get a jr govt position if you poke out one eye...

but, if you poke both eyes out, you get a lifetime judicial appointment (that or a job as a major league umpire)...

so, try poking both out and post back here how it worked out for you.

Re:McCain (1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25474153)

j c ant reasllky tytpoe nmow :(

Re:McCain (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25468517)

HE spent 5 years in a POW camp for your freedom and your not going to vote for him ?

That explains his 'freedom' way of fighting with the recession - free rats and free water for every citizen!

Re:McCain (1, Offtopic)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 5 years ago | (#25468639)

free rats and free water for every citizen!

I suspect that will be a good campaign promise for the 2010 and 2012 election cycles.

Re:McCain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25469041)

"A rat in every pot, and a POW in every cage".

Re:McCain (1)

pegdhcp (1158827) | more than 5 years ago | (#25478781)

If McCain campaign needs votes from /. it is over...

moats filled with sharks with friggin' laser beams (4, Funny)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | more than 5 years ago | (#25467919)

Question1: Do laser beams work underwater?

Question2: Assuming the affirmative to question one, how good is your average shark at aiming them?

Re:moats filled with sharks with friggin' laser be (5, Insightful)

wjh31 (1372867) | more than 5 years ago | (#25467993)

aslong as you can put the main unit in a waterproof container, i dont see why not, but the water will diffuse the light more rapidly than air, especially if the sharks kick up a load of silt in their frenzy, so the range may be limited if the sharks are bad at aiming, they will just burn the skin, rather than focusing on one spot to burn a hole, but it may infact be preferable for the sharks to have their dinner 'fried off' rather than vapourised

Re:moats filled with sharks with friggin' laser be (4, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 5 years ago | (#25469811)

...water will diffuse the light more rapidly than air

I think in actual operation the sharks would poke their
head out of the water (like Flipper the dolphin) to fire
the laser. I'm pretty sure the sharks would require special
goggles to aim accurately in the air.

Re:moats filled with sharks with friggin' laser be (1)

Thuktun (221615) | more than 5 years ago | (#25471011)

Everyone keeps assuming the sharks will control the laser beams. Why not a laser-emitting weapon that instead uses the shark as a biological guidance and propulsion system?

Re:moats filled with sharks with friggin' laser be (1)

Zephyrmation (1372025) | more than 5 years ago | (#25468069)

Answer1: I would assume so, as long as the contraption itself was waterproof. And since lasers are just focused beams of light, they are subject to the laws of refraction, meaning that the laser would hit whatever the shark was looking at - below or above the water. (Note: this assumes the Scott Evil method of attaching lasers to sharks, whereby lasers are positioned above the shark's head, directly in front of the dorsal fin)

Answer2: I'm not sure about lasers, but most sharks are quite good at aiming their mouths.

Re:moats filled with sharks with friggin' laser be (4, Informative)

emj (15659) | more than 5 years ago | (#25468621)

Yes laser works underwater [csumb.edu] , Otters have better aim though, they also easily dodge lasers so expect no Otter battles..

We don't need no stinking sharks! (1)

fuego451 (958976) | more than 5 years ago | (#25469841)

We've got plenty of alligators for our moats here in SC and they don't need pathetic little lasers.

Am I the only one that finds it depressing (4, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 5 years ago | (#25467923)

Am I the only one that finds it depressing that it is an anonymous grey building. Something like a bond-villain's hideout in a volcano would be more appropriate for one of the world's information super hubs.

Re:Am I the only one that finds it depressing (5, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 5 years ago | (#25468071)

They only want you to think it's a faceless grey building. The real headquarters is here [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Am I the only one that finds it depressing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25469069)

they probably wanted to make it harder to be a target from the 'air' and had to compromise between absorbing light and reflecting it.
Therefore neutral gray

No, just normal... (5, Interesting)

neowolf (173735) | more than 5 years ago | (#25470705)

Having worked in a few data centers over the course of my life... They are continuing the long-standing tradition of nondescript concrete/cinder block buildings that have hosted data centers for decades.

Nobody, including Google, wants to advertise their data centers- they want them to look like ordinary warehouses or industrial buildings.

It's pretty much required from a security standpoint, and is why Google is very secretive of its data center locations. You might even have a Google data center in the airport industrial park right down the street.

Would you really expect a big steel and glass architectural wonder with "Google" emblazoned all over it? I would expect nothing more or less from a Google data center than a big ugly concrete box in an industrial park. They (big ugly concrete boxes) are easy to guard and air condition, and don't require a receptionist or PR staff.

Re:No, just normal... (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 5 years ago | (#25472541)

It's pretty much required from a security standpoint, and is why Google is very secretive of its data center locations. You might even have a Google data center in the airport industrial park right down the street.

You're not suggesting that somebody who would be a security concern for Google would have a hard time finding one of their data centers, are you?

Re:No, just normal... (1)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | more than 5 years ago | (#25477499)

The "secret location" thing doesn't make much sense, but reinforced concrete IS both a better insulator and harder to break than glass. This deters theft and keeps costs down.

Re:No, just normal... (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 5 years ago | (#25479189)

You're right. I'm sure Microsoft, cough, sorry they would have a way of finding the locations.

Re:No, just normal... (1)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 5 years ago | (#25472601)

That and they're easy to defend against zombie attacks. A data center would be an ideally defensible shelter for a world war Z scenario.

=Smidge=

Re:No, just normal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25472963)

Nobody, including Google, wants to advertise their data centers- they want them to look like ordinary warehouses or industrial buildings.

It's pretty much required from a security standpoint...

I don't know what to say. I mean, its pretty much common knowledge via datacenterwatch.com and slashdot. Heck, even Google returns 35k hits on google data center Goose Creek, SC.

Maybe parent post is like wrong or something. Does that warrant an "interesting" moderation?

I would guess that data centers are kept ugly is that a) they are in BFE, and nobody sees them, nor wants to, and b) it costs money upfront and on maintenance to keep them perty.

From my perspective, it all comes down to how is it cheapest (power, cooling, network pipes, peoplebots, taxes, etc).

I simply don't see how security plays much into the equasion.

Re:No, just normal... (1)

RabidStoat (689404) | more than 5 years ago | (#25474389)

Would you really expect a big steel and glass architectural wonder with "Google" emblazoned all over it? I would expect nothing more or less from a Google data center than a big ugly concrete box in an industrial park. They (big ugly concrete boxes) are easy to guard and air condition, and don't require a receptionist or PR staff.

Surely the sharks are a bit of a giveaway though? Given Google's attempts at efficiencies, they probably need people to come snooping around so the sharks can eat or at least practice with the lasers.

Ooooohhh.....ahhhhh.... (5, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25467961)

Pictures of a big warehouse-like building! Amazing! Why, I've never seen one! Looks like a giant ... uhhhhhh.... box! w00t! Those pics are just sooo 1337!

Re:Ooooohhh.....ahhhhh.... (4, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#25468355)

Can we say we've reached the height of Google-worship when pictures of the exterior of a data center warrant a front page mention on Slashdot?

Now, if there were pictures of the interior (you know, where the interesting stuff is), I could see wanting to feature it, but the outside of the building? This is like saying you have a big scoop about the internal working of the NSA and then showing a picture of their front gate.

Re:Ooooohhh.....ahhhhh.... (1)

jbrax (315669) | more than 5 years ago | (#25471897)

Now, if there were pictures of the interior (you know, where the interesting stuff is), I could see wanting to feature it

You did read the article, didn't you?
"For a full pictorial history of the inside of Google's data centers, see James Hamilton's blog [mvdirona.com] (scroll down when you get there for the photos), where James has posted some photos supplied by Google's Jeff Dean."

Where do you sign up to play with toys like that? (2, Interesting)

Bandman (86149) | more than 5 years ago | (#25467963)

How long do you suppose you have to build data centers before Google hires you and tells you to go nuts? That's amazing, and I'd love to just walk around in it asking the guy questions who designed it.

I can't imagine how much electrical engineering, physics, and IT years of experience were required to put that thing together.

Anyone get to work in something approaching this level?

Re:Where do you sign up to play with toys like tha (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25468813)

Yep, me. I actually work in the SC location. I was hired after submitting my resume to www.google.com/jobs. Cheers. :)

Re:Where do you sign up to play with toys like tha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25474289)

I have five people (Bob, John, John, Imrain, Travis) assigned in some way nearby Goose Creek, SC who initially applied through /jobs. Not so anonymous now. ;)

Re:Where do you sign up to play with toys like tha (1)

Bandman (86149) | more than 5 years ago | (#25476851)

haha Busted!

So seriously, can I come play?

Re:Where do you sign up to play with toys like tha (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25468871)

I work in the data center design industry, and if you have a 4-year EE or ME degree and the interest you can get into the design engineering end fairly easily. I have been on the design and build teams of 3 centers now (non-GOOG) and am currently working on additional 2. Great growth industry and yes, there is quite a bit (years) of design work that goes into a well designed DC.

Hey! (1, Funny)

TheNecromancer (179644) | more than 5 years ago | (#25467965)

Some of my best friends are sharks with friggin' laser beams attached to their friggin' heads, you insensitive clod!

How much foil? (2, Funny)

Dareth (47614) | more than 5 years ago | (#25468283)

And how much foil do you have to wear on your head to kiss these friends?

New Design? (1)

actionbastard (1206160) | more than 5 years ago | (#25468001)

"...an open, lighted area resembling a parking deck..."

The open, lighted area, could also just be a loading dock, a covered storage area, a parking garage, building utilities area (above-ground 'basement') or any number of 'non-sinister' things. Remember, Google is a 'do no evil' company.

Google Maps Link (5, Informative)

PearsSoap (1384741) | more than 5 years ago | (#25468047)

Re:Google Maps Link (5, Funny)

SBacks (1286786) | more than 5 years ago | (#25468413)

They don't even have streetview of their own building!

Re:Google Maps Link (2, Funny)

sootman (158191) | more than 5 years ago | (#25470655)

Of course not! Everyone knows that's a huge privacy issue. :-)

Re:Google Maps Link (1)

Christophotron (812632) | more than 5 years ago | (#25471171)

They don't even have streetview of their own building!

No, but Microsoft does. [live.com] More recent photo, too. Looks unfinished in the Gmaps photo..

Re:Google Maps Link (1)

neowolf (173735) | more than 5 years ago | (#25470495)

Interesting edit job on the building itself too. Looks ethereal.

Re:Google Maps Link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25476001)

What, no Street View?

slashdotted (5, Funny)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 5 years ago | (#25468329)

Obviously datacenterknowledge.com isn't hosted in a very robust data center...

Re:slashdotted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25469037)

Obviously datacenterknowledge.com isn't hosted in a very robust data center...

Epic Fail

Re:slashdotted (1)

miller60 (554835) | more than 5 years ago | (#25469511)

We're more robust now ... We're back. sorry for the downtime.

DCK has remained up through many prior Slashdottings ... chalk it up the the power of Google. :)

the tubes (1)

screamphilling (1173499) | more than 5 years ago | (#25469309)

look at all the tubes coming out of it

search queries going through all those series of tubes

Re:the tubes (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 5 years ago | (#25470755)

It may be just me, but it looks like a bunch of old drive-up bank windows with air tubes.

Re:the tubes (1)

Schemat1c (464768) | more than 5 years ago | (#25471425)

look at all the tubes coming out of it

And they are right next to the truck loading docks. Is this where the data is transfered from the trucks to the tubes?

Thank goodness.... (1, Offtopic)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 5 years ago | (#25469591)

...this wasn't an anonymous whistleblower article! Here's a URL in the document: file:///C:/Documents and Settings/Rich Miller/My Documents/New Folder/data/20081021212457/index.html

Re:Thank goodness.... (1)

miller60 (554835) | more than 5 years ago | (#25470975)

I'm busted. Guess it was also dumb to put that "By Rich Miller" on the article. Here's the actual URL [flickr.com] for the photo on Flickr, which we've fixed.

Not impressed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25469789)

Commodity hardware is one thing but absoultely brain dead configurations which all but ensure quick death of components due to overheating is not something to be proud of.

I hope google has learned that the rack of exposed motherboards is actually as bad an idea as it looks.

Re:Not impressed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25481205)

Commodity hardware is one thing but absoultely brain dead configurations which all but ensure quick death of components due to overheating is not something to be proud of.

I hope google has learned that the rack of exposed motherboards is actually as bad an idea as it looks.

Given the number of computers Google has, I'm pretty sure that they have better statistics about this than you do. See here [google.com] to note the efficiency of their datacenters, and here [google.com] for a study on hard drive life for drives in datacenter computers.

Parking for H2s (1)

xgr3gx (1068984) | more than 5 years ago | (#25470137)

I bet the 2 level structure is a large parking garage so every employee can drive their Hummer H2 and fit it in the garage.
The open air design will allow them to leave the H2s idling all day so the A/C can run and keep the interior at the perfect temp.
Ah - Green datacenter.

does the InterNet increase or decrease buildings? (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 5 years ago | (#25470153)

A first guess is that InterNet commerce eventually will decrease the number physical stores that need be constructed. However, there are some interesting anomalies along the way. During Web 1.0 some merchants like Amazon and Webvan invested heavily in new warehouses. One succeeded and the other went bankrupt.
Now we see the search engines and cloud computers are building massive data centers around the world. In the long run they may reduce or replace corporate data centers.

"Temples of the Internet" (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 5 years ago | (#25470311)

Youd'd thing with the InterNet rising to the top of the world economy, you might see some some class in its limited physcial constructions. However these data centers are as dull and drab as any industrial construction.

Re:"Temples of the Internet" (1)

post.scriptum (953120) | more than 5 years ago | (#25472661)

What did you expect?

Re:"Temples of the Internet" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25478475)

The inside is the temple.

I'm sure the the computing infrastructure within would inspire religious feelings in the least pious geek.

Not impressed (1)

Servo (9177) | more than 5 years ago | (#25480249)

As somebody who's work in and around huge datacenter facilities for years, I'm not impressed at all. It looks like any other well organized purpose built large scale datacenter I've ever been to.

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