Ever Wondered What’s In Google’s Data Centres?

Google is known for a lot of things but the company was built on data, the storage and searching of information from all over the internet. Typically these things are locked behind closed doors but Google wants to show it all through an eight-minute video tour showing you everything you need to see in Google’s Data Centres.

First off you need security clearance, as even for Google employees the sites are normally locked down. After a small interview regarding all the different bits and systems that help ensure a 24-7 service of their systems. Stepping into the actual data centre requires more than just a pass as you need to get through a circle door locked by an iris scanner as part of the dual authentication.

Through the entire video, you can see how large a data centre is with it giving you just a small glimpse of the building. In an interview with Virginia, one of the people responsible for the network it’s revealed that a single building can support up to 75,000 machines while transmitting over a petabit of data per second.

They even go into detail about how data and drives are removed from the system. First, the drives are wiped only to then be placed in what is essentially a wood chipper designed just for hard drives.

Take the tour in the video below and see for yourself just how big a company Google is and how many steps it takes to protect both companies and customers data. Be warned though the video is a bit of an advert for Google’s cloud platform so it may be a little cheesy at times.

PIA Running Traffic Through Second VPN to Avoid BitTorrent Ban

After a number of large datacentres are now banning heavy BitTorrent traffic on their networks, popular VPN provider Private Internet Access (PIA) has started routing its traffic through another VPN which, while slowing connection speeds, ensures its customers are not prevented from downloading torrents.

Many BitTorrent users implement VPN services to keep their downloading private and prevent their IP address from being tracked by ISPs or third-party copyright infringement enforcers. Since it is one of the few VPNs to not keep logs on its users, meaning there is no data to hand off if served with a warrant, PIA is a favourite amongst torrenters.

“Certain regimes/regions and data centers have strict discriminatory policies towards the BitTorrent protocol. In order to provide a free and open internet to everyone, we were forced to create a technical fix,” a PIA spokesperson told TorrentFreak.

PIA believes that its “double VPN” solution is the best compromise for its customers, as it does not require invasive techniques, such as DPI.

“Due to the fact that packets were routed in an unidentifiable manner and double hop is a known and accepted technology by privacy advocates, we believe this technical solution adheres to the strongest of privacy ideals,” the spokesperson said.

“We want to make clear, that privacy is in fact our single policy. However, in order to help our users who are censored in certain regions, we needed to find a way to provide close servers while still being able to provide users with true and free/open internet access,” they added. “This was our solution and we still think that using technology to create a solution is better than waiting for politicians to fix this problem.”

PIA has posted a full statement on the matter to its website.

Image courtesy of FreedomHacker.

Lightning Strike Wipes Google Data Centre

Google has suffered permanent data loss after one of its data centres in Belgium, which was struck by lightning four times. The electricity surges from the lightning strikes wiped portions of data from the Google Compute Engine storage systems; some disks affected by the strike were later recoverable.

“Although automatic auxiliary systems restored power quickly, and the storage systems are designed with battery backup, some recently written data was located on storage systems which were more susceptible to power failure from extended or repeated battery drain,” Google said in an online statement.

Google’s GCE service provides users with cloud storage and virtual machine operations. It’s not yet clear how many customers could have been affected, but Google claims that only 0.000001% of its data was permanently wiped.

So, what caused the data centre to be struck by lightning an unbelievable four times? According to Justin Gale, the sheer surface area of such a building, with its plethora of power and telecommunications cables, is more susceptible than regular buildings. “The cabling alone can be struck anything up to a kilometre away, bring [the shock] back to the data centre and fuse everything that’s in it,” he said.

“Everything in the data centre is connected one way or another,” James Wilman, Engineering Sales Director for Future-Tech, added. “If you get four large strikes it wouldn’t surprise me that it has affected the facility.”

Thank you BBC News for providing us with this information.

Apple Investing $2 Billion in 100% Renewable European Data Centres

Apple has announced that it is to invest $2 Billion into two new data centres in Europe, that will be powered by 100% renewable energy. The company’s CEO, Tim Cook, says that the new centres will bring great benefits to the local communities surrounding the new buildings as well as to Europeans as a whole.

The centres will be built in Athenry in western Ireland and in Viborg in Denmark, and are planned to be up and running by 2017. It’s said that the new buildings will add capacity to Apple’s online services in Europe; including iMessage, iCloud, Siri, Photos, iTunes and more.

“We are grateful for Apple’s continued success in Europe and proud that our investment supports communities across the continent,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “This significant new investment represents Apple’s biggest project in Europe to date. We’re thrilled to be expanding our operations, creating hundreds of local jobs and introducing some of our most advanced green building designs yet.”

This marks Apple’s largest ever investment into a European project, and it’s clear that it will certainly be of great benefit to the local communities that surround these new centres.

Source: The Verge 

Amazon to Go Green Throughout their Server Farms

After receiving harsh criticism for the energy efficiency of their data centres from Greenpeace earlier this year, Amazon has shown willingness to consider their environmental impact, with the company vowing to use renewable energy to power their server farms.

Greenpeace gave Amazon’s data centre in Morrow County, Oregon an F grade, citing the company concealing its electricity sources and lobbying against Oregon’s clean energy laws for its own ends. Amazon Web Services rents out server space in its data centres to other companies that need cloud storage facilities. On its website, the company wrote, “AWS has a long-term commitment to achieve 100% renewable energy usage for our global infrastructure footprint.” Greenpeace has cautiously applauded the move, calling it, “a potential breakthrough,” but are keen to learn more about how Amazon plan to achieve their goal.

Source: OregonLive

Samsung Announced the 845DC EVO Solid State Drive

Samsung has introduced a new SSD line, specially designed to bring the optimum solution for data centres. The 845DC Evo Solid State Drive is said to deliver sustained performance with a low latency and high performance ratings, making the SSD an ideal candidate for read-intensive data centre applications such as the ones found on web, content and streaming servers.

The 845DC Evo SSD is said to be ideal for small and medium business system integration and data centre use, while OEM server manufacturers are offered a custom solution thanks to Samsung’s 10nm class 3-bit NAND flash memory, having the firmware and controller based on the Samsung PM853T SSD.

In terms of specifications, the 845DC Evo SSD features high reliability and endurance, with read speeds of up to 530 MB/s and 87,000 IOPS for random reads and a power consumption of around 4W, which is equivalent to a quarter of what data centre HDDs require to operate.

The company aims its 845DC Evo SSD towards environments involving a lot of data reading activity, therefore the read speeds are considerably higher than write speeds. The company offers the 834DC Evo SSD in three storage space variations, having it available in 240 GB, 480 GB and 960 GB, all with a 5 year warranty and a 2,000,000-hour MTBF reliability.

Furthermore, Samsung offers higher endurance ratings for its latest SSD, having claimed 150 TBW for the 240 GB version, 300 TBW for the 480 GB version and 600 TBW for the 960 GB version.

Thank you Guru3D for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Guru3D

Google Told To Move Their Infamous Mystery Barge From San Francisco Bay

Last year saw a lot of rumours surrounding Google and their mystery barge, with documents surfacing that showed the barge was being constructed by Google, but nothing about what it will actually be used for. Some have suggested it may be a floating data centre, while others think that it will be some kind of mobile showroom, both sound fairly plausible. Of course, given Google’s passion for all kinds of crazy innovation, it may even be something completely new.

The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) has told Google that it must move its mystery barge from the bay. It looks like Google don’t have the proper authorization to have started construction on their barge, and unless they’re able to come up with a suitable response they could be made to leave the bay or face enforcement proceedings.

“we just received the letter from the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission and we are reviewing it.” Said a Google spokesperson while speaking with TechCrunch.

It still remains to be seen why Google would really need such a large barge and why most of its purpose is so covert. So long as Google don’t get kicked out of the bay, construction will continue and I’m sure well discover its true purpose soon enough.

Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of NBC.