Connie Zhou’s Images Inside Google’s Massive Data Centers

How a pro became the first official photographer inside some of Google's massive facilities

Council Bluffs Network Room

“Inside Google’s campus network room, routers and switches allow data centers to talk to each other. The fiber optic networks connecting their sites can run at speeds that are more than 200,000 times faster than a typical home Internet connection. The fiber cables run along the yellow cable trays near the ceiling.”

Above the Floor in Council Bluffs

“Hovering above the floor in Council Bluffs, Iowa, the scale of Google’s data center there begins to take shape. Huge steel beams both support the structure and help distribute power.”

The Dalles Server Room

“Denise Harwood diagnoses an overheated CPU. For more than a decade, Google has built some of the world’s most efficient servers.”

Saint Ghislain Sunset

A sunset over Saint Ghislain, Belgium illuminates Google’s water storage tanks and cooling towers.”

Saint Ghislain Drives

“As part of Google’s commitment to keeping users’ data safe, they destroy all failed drives, on site.”
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“Insulated pipes like these have a U-bend (called this due to their shape) so they can expand and contract as the fluid temperature inside the pipe changes.”

Frozen Finland (Hamina)

“A beautiful landscape forms during winter in Finland, as the gulf ices over and creates a picturesque view.”

Hamina Aerial View

“Hamina is one of three data centers Google maintains in Europe. Previously it was the home of the Stora Enso paper mill.”

Behind Servers with Green Glow

“A rare look behind the server aisle. Here hundreds of fans funnel hot air from the server racks into a cooling unit to be recirculated. The green lights are the server status LEDs reflecting from the front of Google’s servers.”

Douglas County Color-Coded Pipes

“Thousands of feet of pipe line the inside of Google’s data centers. They paint them bright colors not only because it’s fun, but also to designate which one is which. The bright pink pipe in this photo transfers water from the row of chillers (the green units on the left) to a outside cooling tower”