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Explain Google Data Centers with Pictures

Updated on April 23, 2011

google data center in Belgium


Google data centers always attracts most people’s attention as it is the largest search engine in the world and data means most to Google. How many data centers of google are there in the world? How are they distributed? I collected some information about this for your interest.

The distribution map of the data centers

Why Google responds so fast? That’s mainly because their date centers are distributed around the world. Counting the ones under construction, there are totally 36 data centers in the world. 19 in the US, 12 in Europe, 1 in Russia, 1 in south America and 3 in Asia. But google doesn't occupy the centers soly, also rents to the outside parties.

google data centers around the world

google data centers in Europe

google data centers in Europe
google data centers in Europe

Google data center map in North America

Google data center map in North America
Google data center map in North America

The servers in data centers

Most of the servers provided directly by Dell, Hp, IBM and SUN. It costs a lot of money to buy servers, if Google bought from other companies, it wouldn’t have the glory as it is today. Now goolge manufactures its own servers, which is 3.5 inches thick, having 2 CPUs, 2 hard drives and 8 memory card slots and GIGABYTE motherboard. Goolge uses AMD and Intel’s x86 processor. In the same size of space, google’s server accomodates more CPUs than ones other factories manufacured.Datacenter uses container as its unit and there are 1160 servers in one container. There are many containers in each datacenter.

google server

google server
google server

The core technology of data centers

Google always loves open source softwares and supports the technology. (facebook, as a rival to google value open source softwares too.)  Google utilizes unix operating system and the engineers optimizes the system using parallel computing. Goolge develops own core softwares with C++ and Java.

Google’s three core elements

1.    Goolge folder system GFS is in charge of storing data.
2.    Google big table: it is distributed storage system for managing very large structured data. Google’s data system is so large that IBM and oracle’s business database is in no way helpful. Besides, business database charges based on the numbers of CPUs, so it would be a massive number if Google utilizes such kind of database.
3.    Mapreduce computation: it is a C++ programming tool developed by Google, applicable to data which is large enough as 1 TB to do large processing. Mapreduce can calculate the times of one word appear in search engine results pages, and a particular word appears in a particular webpage.
Although many open sources project contributes to the success of Google, it always keeps the three core elements as its secret.

The patents of the data center

1.    built in battery in server: every server has one 12 volt battery, it ensure continual electricity if it was interrupted. Its ultimate aim is to save the cost.
2.    movable datacenter containers: it was patented in october, 2008.

The cost of data center

According to Google’s financial report, the cost of data center in 2006 was 1.9 billion dollars, 2.4 dollars in 2007, 2.36 billion dollars in 2008, 8.9 millions in 2009 and 7.15 hundred millions in the first half of 2010.

Google quarterly Capex

google quarterly capex
google quarterly capex

The criteria for choosing datacenter venu

1.    cheap large power resource
2.    green energy, prefers renewable nenergy resource
3.    near to river or lake (need water to cool down the heat)
4.    vast ground (for security and secrecy)
5.    the distance between other datacenters (quick connection between databases)
6.    preferrential tax policy


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      6 years ago

      This is a lot of great information! Thanks for the article!


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