This. Is. Awesome. If you follow a rainbow all the way to the end, you're supposed to discover a pot of gold, only no one ever seems to get that lucky. By that same token, if you were to trace the Internet's many roads and highways, you'd find that many of them end up at one of Google's data centers, and like that elusive pot of gold, you never get to actually see it. Until now.
Google, for the first, decided to crack open the doors to its data centers and provide the Internet community at large a rare and awesome tour of the Internet's underbelly, and it's every bit as magnificent as you might imagine. You can even take a tour of Google's Lenoir, NC facility in Street View, where you can head inside the front door and zig-zag your way to the data center floor.
"Very few people have stepped inside Google’s data centers, and for good reason: our first priority is the privacy and security of your data, and we go to great lengths to protect it, keeping our sites under close guard," Google explains. "While we’ve shared many of our designs and best practices, and we’ve been publishing our efficiency data since 2008, only a small set of employees have access to the server floor itself."
Now you can, too, at least in virtual form. A gallery filled with high-resolution pictures takes you through the inner workings of Google's data centers, and it's a sight to behold. You'll see lots of wires and colorful pipes, servers and engineers, and more. It's truly amazing and well worth spending a coffee break to click through it all. Enjoy!