Google opens data center Kimono: Why cloud players will follow

Google opens data center Kimono: Why cloud players will follow

Summary: Google and Facebook are opening up about their data centers. Why? It's the best asset to earn trust as a steward of your data.


Web giants are throwing the doors open to their data centers in a move that would look bizarre in most industries. This go round it's Google, which is showing off its Lenoir, NC data center.

While the Google data center tour is interesting, it's probably worth pondering the motives to being press friendly. Facebook, which opened its doors to our own Jack Clark recently, and Google depend on the following bonds with customers:

  • Privacy of data;
  • Trust;
  • Keeping your information in the cloud;
  • Delivering data when you want it.

As a result, the customer needs to feel that the likes of Google and Facebook, which has been more open about its data center efforts of late, are technologically savvy and know what they are doing. Enter the stories about custom servers, how hard drives are destroyed, backup systems and 24/7 uptime. On the enterprise front, Google and Facebook are setting the data center pace and freezing out OEMs

In other words, data centers are the competitive differentiator in the cloud. At this pace, Apple, which has to highlight its own cloud chops, may even open its doors. Microsoft is another one that could highlight its data centers to push its Azure services. Amazon is unlikely to open its data center doors---unless Google encroaches on Amazon Web Services somehow.

Enterprises have known for years that data centers are a competitive advantage. For companies like Google and Facebook and cloud providers, data center prowess is a selling point.

The upshot here is that data centers are likely to be popularized with the general public. In the not-to-distant future, tech giants everywhere will be yapping about their data centers.

Here's a quick tour of Google's data center, which is now on Street View.

Google's server room.
A Google built server.
Google's networking room.
Google's tape backup.
Google destroys a failed hard drive.

Topics: Data Centers, Cloud, Google, Networking, Storage, Virtualization

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  • Huh???

    How does showing pictures of hardware racks tell you anything about what data they collect and what they do with it? Is the absence of humans supposed to imply that your data is secure? What a joke!
    • Really?

      Are you really that small minded?
      It shows that they trust the community. It shows that they destroy HDD's that go faulty so the data from them do not get recovered by someone who could pick it up at a trash dump. What they collect is searches. And they store them. They do not "sell out" data to people. Absence of humans? What absence? There is no absence of workers. Wow, how stupid are you? Elementary education I can safely observe that it is all you have.
      • "What they collect is searches."

        And emails (GMail) and where you are (Google Maps) and who you phone (Google Voice/Android) and what web sites you visit (Chrome) and what you watch on tv (Google TV) and who-knows-what from Google+. I don't know what your level of education is, but you'd better do some homework on Google, my friend.
        • Some corrections.

          You are correct in the first half. But I have done my homework, and you just told me everything I already knew about. God forbid I forget things every now and then. And in terms of Android, your service provider records that data, not Google (If they do, it's after your service provider records it).
        • Name one company who isn't doing what you say

          It certainly isn't Apple. Where you are (Apple's new map program), what web sites you visit (Safari), everything about your buying habits (iTunes).

          The reason this is a big deal is because in any serious data center, cameras are not allowed. The fact that they take you on a visual tour is saying "let me show you how state of the art our data center is".

          The goal is to garner trust. If the data center was sloppy and/or unprofessional, no one in their right mind would choose to trust their data with them. You are correct though; pictures prove nothing in themselves.

          But how many data centers do you know of that have a Stormtrooper guarding servers? :-)
  • Google and Facebook are

    Mother and Father of mass spying...
  • concern

    My only concern is that this a good tip to likes of Muslim extremists. ..
  • even if you see all these..

    how can you be sure your data is safe and they are not tracking you from these pics?
  • Its not only Google or Facebook...!!

    My Friends,

    Google and Facebook are not just two companies who like to store what you are up to and why not..?!! they are into advertisement and to ensure they show you the right advertisement, they need a lot of data to understand what is on your mind. Of course this is only one reason why are awfully successful..! I personally trust Google but I feel scared about Facebook..

    It is well said, no one can prove anything from the pictures.. Pictures and online tours are good for starter but anyone who is into serious business needs to understand every bit of a datacenter security. It all comes down to the SLA you sign with them and for enterprise business, they need someone who can pay their lost money in case they sue them for being paranoids..

    It really doesn't matter what people talk about these giants, they have done good enough to stay on top for a good period of time.. and lets no forget Google for the first company to gift sleepless night to Microsoft.. :-) For geeks like us, we need to rest and watch what these guys are upto.. any actions gives us a chance to talk.. isn't it fun.