Google Breaks Data Center Silence

    April 2, 2009

Google’s never been too chatty about its data centers; the search giant is slow to even confirm the centers’ physical locations, never mind discuss what’s going on inside.  But at the Data Center Efficiency Summit, Google spilled a few secrets, and there’s definitely some impressive technology in place. 

Google Logo

Google’s taken steps to ensure that its custom-built servers require only a tiny amount of energy.  It’s also safeguarded them against electricity outages by building in batteries.  A modular method of storing the servers has been embraced, and all in all, Google appears to be at least a year ahead of some of its rivals.

Peter Burrows explained, "Microsoft has been crowing about the fact that it opened up a huge new data center in Chicago in which all of the servers are stored in shipping containers, an approach that makes it simpler and cheaper to deploy hundreds of servers at once.  Turns out Google has been doing this since 2005.  And while Microsoft has a goal to achieve a ‘power usage effectiveness’ score of 1.2 (where a score of 1 means all of the electricity consumed is used to run the computers, rather than to cool and light the facility) in the next few years, Google has already hit this level as of the fourth quarter of 2008."

In fact, Google’s most efficient facility has a score of 1.12.

These are the sorts of things that, even if the average user isn’t likely to notice, should save Google money and prevent it from experiencing certain problems.