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Inside Google: Pictures Of Data Centres Released
Google has released pictures offering a rare glimpse inside its secretive but colourful data centres.
Until now, the search engine heavyweight has only allowed a handful of employees access to its eight buildings around the world.
But these images, taken by photographer Connie Zhou, offer an insight into the technology that powers billions of web searches, YouTube clicks and Gmail conversations every day.
The data centres - or 'server farms' - which house the equipment are so vast, employees have bicycles to get around.
Google has uploaded the images to a new website called Where The Internet Lives.
It has also added the corridors of its complex in Lenoir, North Carolina, to its Street View pages.
In a blog post, Urs H?e, the company's senior vice president for technical infrastructure, said: "Very few people have stepped inside Google's data centres, and for good reason.
"Our first priority is the privacy and security of your data, and we go to great lengths to protect it, keeping our sites under close guard.
"Fourteen years ago, back when Google was a student research project, Larry [Page] and Sergey [Brin] powered their new search engine using a few cheap, off-the-shelf servers stacked in creative ways.
"We've grown a bit since then."