This Is Where Google Keeps Your Email And YouTube Videos

Google server farm

Photo: Google

Right now, you’re probably sitting on your couch with a laptop in your lap, a tablet in your hands, or a smartphone in your palm.You’re moving around the Internet, sending emails, watching videos, and reading this post. 

It can seem like those activities take place in a non-physical, vaporous world. 

There are no wires connecting you to the Internet, no hoses pumping, and no gears whirring.

It all seems very airy – almost magical.

It isn’t!

Your emails, this website, and the YouTube videos you watch are stored in a very physical place. Accessing them is a very physical process.

It starts with you using a Google Webpage, maybe for a search

Your clicks and queries end up here, at a Google server farm near you

These places require lots of people to keep running

In fact, there's someone on site 24 hours a day

Here, the equipment looks at your click on Google or YouTube and decides which server should respond

These computers actually deal with the billions of Google searches, YouTube video plays, and Gmail messages

The truth is, Google's core competency is custom designing these computers to make them super fast

Google keeps two copies of your data, each on different servers

These little robot arms move the tapes around.

When a drive breaks, it's this guy's job to destroy all the data on it

Then, a human puts the drive into this machine, which crushes it to pieces.

This is such a high-energy, physically intensive process that the whole place gets HOT. Google has huge water towers to cool the whole thing down.

Here you can watch Google's tour of its data centre

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