PodTech blogger Robert Scoble got to see one of Google's data center installations up close when he was working with Zooomr last week trying to help the struggling photo service get back online. Robert shares his experience in several posts. First, some context: "Zooomr's datacenter is now inside Zoho's datacenter (they have millions of dollars of equipment) which is inside a bigger datacenter that's dominated by racks of Google's computers," Robert writes. "Zooomr's few servers are surrounded on all four sides by stacks of Google racks." (A quick Netcraft dig shows both Zoho and Zooomr housed at an AdventNet data center in Pleasanton).
In a subsequent post about the relaunch of Ask.com, Scoble talks about Google's data centers as the ultimate weapon in the search arms race.
Now that I've seen the inside of part of a Google datacenter I understand just how tough it'll be to beat. Google's datacenters are just so amazing. It's funny, since I was in that datacenter last Friday I've met a bunch of Googlers. None of whom have ever been in a Google datacenter. Why is that funny? Because the datacenter is Google's KEY DEFENSE against "new" competition. From now on if anyone says they are gonna be better than Google at something I'm going to ask for a tour of their datacenter first. If you don't have datacenter excellence there's NO WAY you're going to beat Google at coming back fast. It all starts in the datacenter.
It's worth noting that Robert is not a newbie when it comes to IT facilities. He worked at Microsoft for years and toured Intel's chip fabs.