As Google continues to expand across Europe, Africa and the Middle East, our data center infrastructure are growing as well. Which is why we’ve broken ground on what will be our fourth hyper-efficient data facility for the region. Our new location in Eemshaven, the Netherlands, brings together all the component pieces Google requires of a data center site: sufficient land, power, workforce, networking and renewable energies. A pre-existing cable connection to major European network hubs in London and Amstedam means Eemshaven is an ideal location to lay the supporting structure for an ever-expanding Internet.
Inside Google Eemshaven
What is a data center?
With all this talk about “the cloud,” it’s easy to forget that the web’s information lives somewhere on solid ground. Data centers are facilities that house the many computers and servers that support Google’s products. Our network of data centers is the backbone that allows us to deliver lightning fast search results, make your files available to you in a snap, and stream your favorite YouTube videos. Most medium- to large-sized companies have, or use, some kind of data center—but no one has ever done it quite at this scale before.
How are Google’s data centers different from Google offices?
Our data centers need much more space than our offices, and are usually located outside metropolitan areas. Imagine buildings the size of a football field, packed with servers, hard drives and networking equipment crunching data at an unbelievable pace. It’s a global scale computer, where teams of hardware engineers, software engineers, site reliability engineers, facilities technicians and many others work tirelessly to do more than just keep the lights on. They handle the day-to-day system administration and monitor data center performance, find ways to make our networks faster and more secure for our users, and seek out the solutions that reduce our impact on the environment. In our data centers, small teams of Googlers have huge impact on our users, our company, and, of course, our future.
What kinds of jobs are based at data centers?
Each of our data centers is a sophisticated installation that require complex maintenance, cooling and upkeep. To fill roles in Hardware and Data Center Operations we require robust skills and experience in various areas like large-scale distributed systems, hardware and HVAC maintenance, facilities management, IT networking and network architecture. Here, Googlers face challenges that evolve just as quickly as the technology at their fingertips and they rely on deep knowledge in areas like engineering, materials science, and network administration to keep the engines that power our business running.
Data centers in action
All the indexing and processing that goes into answering your searches is done by computers in our data centers. It's a big job, and it takes a lot of computers to so such a big job — and plenty of people to keep them running. The folks who work in data centers keep Google computers and servers running 24 hours a day. They monitor, diagnose, fix and replace all of the data center's machines and systems, so Google can provide search results and other services to our billions of users. As the web grows, so must Google. Since our first data center opened in 2006, we’ve expanded to more than twelve locations around the globe, including brand new facilities in Asia and our first in Latin America.
Just as the health of our data network is important to us, so is the environmental well-being of the communities and regions where we’re located. In fact, we’re the first major internet services company to receive external certification of our high environmental and workplace safety standards throughout our US and European data centers. All of our US and European data centers have received voluntary ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certifications. We’re also the first company in the United States to obtain multi-site ISO 50001 Energy Management System certification of all six of our US data centers.
Whenever possible, Google is committed to using clean and renewable energy sources to
power our data centers. More than 34% of
our data center operations run on renewable energy. Long term contracts with clean
energy providers, including wind farms and solar power facilities, enable us to meet
our commitments while supporting the development of renewable technologies. And that