Google offers Street View of datacentres

Google offers Street View of its datacentres and a virtual tour of how users' data is stored, with an emphasis on security practices

IT executives keen to learn how search engine giant Google is running its datacentres or curious to know how users’ data – including YouTube videos and Google+ accounts – are stored and secured, now have an opportunity to explore the company’s datacentres with a virtual tour online.

“Step inside our datacentres like never before and explore on your own in our photo gallery and Street View,” the company’s new website stated.

The website offers a guided tour and Street View look of its main datacentre in Lenior, North Carolina, as well as the datacentre office.

Explorers can see the racks, the cooling equipment, server floors, the raised floors as well as datacentre managers working at the IT facility.

A new microsite – called Where the Internet Lives – allows people to explore some of its datacentres and understand the technology behind the company’s operations.

Google’s datacentre security practices

The internet giant, which has more than one billion users, attempted to emphasise security practices in its datacentres.

“We keep your data safe and secure by using dozens of critical security features,” said Google. It has built custom servers exclusively for its datacentres and designed them to reduce the number of potential vulnerabilities.

“We also have robust disaster recovery measures in place. For example, in the event of a fire or any other disruption, we shift data access automatically and seamlessly to another datacentre so that our users can keep working, uninterrupted,” said Google.

"Our emergency backup generators continue to power our datacentres, even in the event of a power failure.”

Instead of storing users’ data on a single machine or set of machines, it distributes all data across many computers in different locations. It then replicates the data over multiple systems to avoid a single point of failure.

Google’s datacentre security clarifications and the new website offering a sneak peek into its datacentres came just a day after the EU advised Google to rethink its privacy policy.

Google was told to change the way it gathers information on users to reduce the risk of infringing on their privacy.

Google has several datacentres in the US as well as in Ireland, Hong Kong, Finland, Singapore, Chile and Taiwan, among other places.

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