360° Inside Look into Google's Oregon Data Center Infrastructure

It's not the first time that Google has exhibited the insides of their data centers, but this new video offers a virtually immersive look into how their Oregon Data Center works.

Google is pushing heavily their cloud through their Google Cloud Developer Advocacy Team. As is noted in the video, most employees working at Google have never had the opportunity to see one of their data centers from the inside.

Some interesting things to keep an eye out for in the video:

  • Security Practices
    • Layered security model: including safeguards like custom-designed electronic access cards, alarms, vehicle access barriers, perimeter fencing, metal detectors and biometrics
    • The data center floor features laser beam intrusion detection
    • Monitored 24/7 by high-resolution interior and exterior cameras that can detect and track intruders
    • Access logs, activity records and camera footage are available in case an incident occurs
    • Routinely patrolled by experienced security guards who have undergone rigorous background checks and training (you can see a couple in the video)
    • Access to the data center floor is only possible via a security corridor which implements multi-factor access control using security badges and biometrics. Only approved employees with specific roles may enter1.
    • A very strict end-to-end chain of custody for storage, tracking everything from cradle to grave, from the first time a HDD (or SSD) goes into a machine until it’s verified clean/erased or destroyed
    • Data traveling between a customer’s device and Google is encrypted using HTTPS/TLS (Transport Layer Security)
  • They build their own hardware and monitoring systems
  • They use Machine Learning to optimize their data center operations
  • Powered by Renewable Resources
  • Engineering + operation teams are combined
  • They use Hyper-Converged Networking Principles to abstract away the specifics of their network and can be managed programmatically2.
  • A single building can support 75,000 machines and carry over 1 Pbp/s of bandwidth (more than the entire internet!)
  • Mention of B4: Their own private backbone network
  1. Less than one percent of Google employees will ever set foot in one of the data centers.

  2. If you're interesting in Hyper-Convergence, read the On Hyper-Convergence blog post I wrote earlier.