Google Opens Door to Share Data Center Secrets

Are you ever curious about what’s powering the Google search bar? The search behemoth recently let users take a peek inside their Lenior, North Carolina, data center and here’s what lay behind the proverbial curtain.

Energy-Efficient, Green Data Centers

With spaghetti-like, colorful cooling pipes, Google demonstrated their energy-efficient strategies for greener data centers and more environmentally friendly operations. By repurposing hardware and reinventing the data center cooling process, Google keeps costs low and reduces the data centers impact on the environment.

Hardware Repurpose, Reuse
Google repurposes and reuses their legacy hardware. When new servers are deployed to increase speeds, older hardware is moved to an area of the data center where processing speeds are not as critical. Through this simple practice, Google has been able to avoid purchasing more than 300,000 new machines.
Smart Cooling Techniques
Google uses water pipes to avoid the arctic temperatures typically associated with data center cooling methods. With the room set to 77 degrees Fahrenheit, Google designed hot aisles and cold aisles to efficiently cool servers through myriads of copper coils and water.
By using more efficient cooling methods, Google says they can continue to provide free services such as Gmail.


Ranking Use of Disk Capacity


Empowering the Competition?

As a competitive advantage, Google had previously kept their data center energy-saving strategies a secret. However, Google realized that inspiring other companies to be energy-efficient could benefit the environment.

Google had previously kept their data center energy-saving strategies a secret to preserve a competitive advantage. However, it realized that inspiring other companies to be energy-efficient could benefit the environment. In 2009, Google provided hints about their energy-savings and carbon neutrality at the Efficient Data Center Summit. And by challenging their competitors to improve their energy-efficiency, Internet giants such as Yahoo and Facebook now report carbon neutrality rates similar to Google’s efficiency statistics.

Inside the Lenoir Data Center

Although the Lenoir data center is set to be retired, unlocking the secrets to this Google data center will continue to inspire others to improve their energy-efficiency and reduce their impact on the environment.

Click here to read about Wired author Steven Levy’s experience inside the doors of the Lenoir, North Carolina, data center.


Photo Credit: Clockwise from top right. Emmanuel Digiaro, Flickr. CC Licensed. Robert Scoval, Flickr. CC Licensed.


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