Thursday, October 18, 2012

Where the Internet lives

Posted By on Thu, Oct 18, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Google unveiled a stunning new photo gallery today to give you a peek inside the buildings that make all your emailing and YouTube viewing possible. 

Here's one (the colors, they say, are for fun and to remember which pipe is doing what).

The data centers used by companies like Google and Yahoo! are essentially big warehouses full of servers that store a lot of information and use a lot of electricity in the process. According to the New York Times, Google continuously uses enough electricity to power about 200,000 homes.

Last year we told you about how such centers were taking over rural eastern and central Washington, boosting the economy while drawing some environmental concerns. 

With the explosion of the Internet, data centers across the country are gaining big press.

Last month, the Times published a fascinating (though controversial) series on data centers and their impact on the environment, including a story about Washington.

Data centers are notoriously secretive because of security concerns and competition between tech companies, and this glimpse at Google doesn't exactly come with trade secrets. But it does coincide with the release of big Wired feature about the centers, and it's a step up from the garage where the Internet giant got its start.

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About The Author

Heidi Groover

Heidi Groover is a staff writer at the Inlander, where she covers city government and drug policy. On the job, she's spent time with prostitutes, "street kids," marriage equality advocates and the family of a 16-year-old organ donor...