Visual tour: Google turns its data centers into an art show

Google is offering a look inside its data centers with a series of stunning photographs that would be more at home in an art gallery than a technology manual.

Google says it destroys all failed drives on site, to help keep user data safe. (St. Ghislain, Belgium) Photo: Connie Zhou/Google

A view of the data center at Hamina, Finland, taken while standing on the frozen Gulf of Finland. Photo: Connie Zhou/Google

These colorful pipes send and receive water for cooling. Also pictured is a G-Bike, the vehicle of choice for team members to get around outside our data centers. (Douglas County, Georgia) Photo: Connie Zhou/Google

Pipes like these are kept ready with highly-pressurized water in case of a fire. (Douglas County, Georgia) Photo: Connie Zhou/Google

In case anything should happen to Google's data, they have it all backed up. One of the places they back up information is here in the tape library. Robotic arms (visible at the end of the aisle) assist in loading and unloading tapes. (Berkeley County, South Carolina) Photo: Connie Zhou/Google

These cables are organized by their specific hue. On the floor, Google says it can make things less technical: "Hand me a blue one." (The Dalles, Oregon) Photo: Connie Zhou/Google

Denise Harwood diagnoses an overheated CPU. (The Dalles, Oregon) Photo: Connie Zhou/Google

Insulated pipes like these have a U-bend so they can expand and contract as the fluid temperature inside the pipe changes. (Douglas County, Georgia) Photo: Connie Zhou/Google

Thousands of feet of pipe line the inside of Google's data centers. They paint them bright colors not only because it's fun, but also to designate which one is which. The bright pink pipe in this photo transfers water from the row of chillers (the green units on the left) to a outside cooling tower. (Douglas County, Georgia) Photo: Connie Zhou/Google

Blue LEDs on a row of servers show everything is running smoothly. Google uses LEDs because they are energy efficient, long lasting and bright. (Douglas County, Georgia) Photo: Connie Zhou/Google

An overhead view of one of Google's cooling plants, where seawater from the Gulf of Finland cools the data center. (Hamina, Finland) Photo: Connie Zhou/Google

A rare look behind the server aisle. Here, hundreds of fans funnel hot air from the server racks into a cooling unit to be recirculated. The green lights are the server status LEDs reflecting from the front of servers. (Mayes County, Oklahoma) Photo: Connie Zhou/Google