Google adds a splash of color to the dull data center

Do artists have a place in teaching people about the backbone of modern IT infrastructure?
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer
Image: Screenshot via YouTube

Google hopes to pull data centers out of the shadows by working with artists to create murals to advertise their presence in the modern world.

Data centers are an important element of today's modern IT infrastructure. These buildings store servers, usually under heavy security, used by companies to store and analyze information sent from our devices to the cloud.

Not only to data centers act as a way to protect and keep servers, enterprise equipment and data safe, but these buildings -- often ringed by steel fences and an imposing grey -- also allow corporations to run cloud applications without the cost of setting up security, cooling and equipment in-house.

Data centers may be critical today to many businesses, but this doesn't mean the public, in general, understands much about them.

Google hopes to change that through the Data Center Mural Project. Last week, the tech giant said in a blog post that data centers " typically aren't much to look at," but by working with artists, the firm hopes to "bring a bit of the magic from the inside of our data centers to the outside."

The project has started in two locations. In Mayes County, Oklahoma, artist Jenny Odell's mural is comprised of images from Google Maps satellite footage, which is meant to represent the flow of goods, power and information commonly running through data centers.

In Belgium, Google's St. Ghislain-based data center has been decorated by street artist Oli-B, who took inspiration from the cloud itself.

Two more locations are currently being decorated. You can check out the project or learn how to be involved here.

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