Google Data Center Photos Abound

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Google’s new data centers continue to be the focus of extraordinary interest among bloggers, who are posting photos of the facilities on the Web. It’s no secret that data center professionals love to post pictures of their facilities online, as indicated by the wealth of such photos available on Flickr, which lists nearly 7,000 results for “data center.” But many companies have strict policies about photos in their facilities, and some data center operators prefer to cloak their operations in secrecy.

Google has always been secretive about its data centers, which has clearly caught the imagination of some industry observers. When Information Week editor John Foley vacationed in Oregon recently, he stopped at The Dalles to take photos of Google’s data center, which he has posted on the Information Week site. Foley’s photos gained the attention of Nick Carr and ZDNet blogger Michael Krigsman and have been widely linked. But Foley’s not the first person to post pictures of the facility, which was featured on the front page of the New York Times last year. John Nelson, a resident of The Dalles, posted similar photos on Flickr in June 2006.


Google’s data center in The Dalles isn’t the only one attracting photographers’ attention. Erwin Boogert has published a set of photos of a huge data center Google is building in the Netherlands (link via Googlified). Work on the facility in Eemshaven began in early 2007, according to the photographer. It’s not clear whether Boogert had “official” access to the site. One would hope so, as the set includes several photos of electrical equipment, still wrapped and on pallets. While the pictures of Google’s facilities in The Dalles were taken from nearby properties, these were clearly taken on the construction site.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor-in-chief of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.