Google opens the pod bay doors

Today is a special day. After years of Kremlinesque secrecy, Google has finally opened its data centers to public inspection, at least through a photographer’s lens. There’s beauty here — serene, icy, otherworldly.

Here are racks of servers, bathed in the cold light of a thousand diodes, in a Georgia data center:

Here is a not-so-dusty archive, where all your gmails are stored on backup tapes for posterity, in a South Carolina center (the tall, skinny fellow at the end of the corridor is a robot):

Here’s a look at the cooling system in an Oregon center, the water pipes coded in googley colors (red is hot, blue is cold, and I’m not sure what yellow and green are):

Here’s a view of the interior of an Iowa center (note that a couple of racks seem to be wrapped up to keep them out of view; these must be the ones used to operate Larry Page’s brain):

And, finally, here’s the server floor of a center in Finland. The facility used to be — how perfect is this? — a paper mill:

The photographer is Connie Zhou.

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