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Video View: Google's Data Center Technology

Google doesn't often discuss the details of its Internet infrastructure. Much of what we know about what happens inside Google's data centers is based on presentations at the first Google Efficient Data Centers Summit in April 2009 in Mountain View, Calif., where the company shared some of its data center and server designs with a group of industry leaders. We've pulled together the best videos summarizing what Google shared that day, as a prelude to looking into some of the technologies the company has been developing more recently.

Google container data center tour

This Google data center facility features a “container hanger” filled with 45 containers, with some housed on a second-story balcony. Each shipping container can hold up to 1,160 servers, and uses 250 kilowatts of power, giving the container a power density of more than 780 watts per square foot. Google’s design allows the containers to operate at a temperature of 81 degrees in the cold aisle.

Belgium Water Treatment Plant

Google says two of its newer data centers are now “water self-sufficient, including the company’s new data center in Belgium, which is located next to an industrial canal. Google has built a 20,000 square foot water treatment plant to prepare the canal water for use in its nearby data center.

Google Web Servers

It’s long been known that Google builds its own web servers, enabling it to design the servers for peak performance and energy efficiency. Data Center Knowledge produced this video at Google Data Center Energy Summit, when the company put one of its custom servers on display. There is no audio, but you can see the server design includes a power supply that integrates a battery, allowing it to function as an uninterruptible power supply (UPS). The design shifts the UPS and battery backup functions from the data center into the server cabinet.

For more information on Google and green data centers best practices, visit Going Green at Google.

Also, see a recent (April 2010) Data Center Knowledge item on Google's efforts to contain cold air and reduce energy costs, Google's Budget Containment System.

For additional videos, check out our DCK video archive and our Data Center Videos channel on YouTube.