Frequently asked questions
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about our data centers.
What is a data center?
A data center is a facility with many computers that store and process large amounts of information. Our data centers keep all of Google’s products and services up and running around the clock and around the world. Whenever you access Gmail, edit your documents, post an image to Google+ or search for information on Google.com, you're using one of our data centers and have the power of a supercomputer at your fingertips. Learn more about our approach to environmentally responsible data centers.
Can I visit a data center?
Because we take security very seriously at our data centers, we cannot offer public tours at this time. However, you can take a virtual tour of our North Carolina data center in Street View, and explore the general office area, control room, and even the server floor.
What is it like to work at the data center?
Google data center staff ensure that the facility’s computers are running at their highest speed and efficiency 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our jobs require a variety of skills and backgrounds—from entry-level technology assistants to experienced data center managers and Linux administrators. We also hire non-technical staff, such as catering staff, grounds staff, and security personnel. In every case, we look for individuals who demonstrate the potential to excel in their role. Explore current openings on our jobs site.
How does Google power its data centers?
Our goal is to use as much renewable energy as possible to power our data centers. But the places with the best clean power potential are not typically the same places where a data center can best serve its users (for example, they may not be particularly sunny or windy). So we found a creative solution: we locate our data centers where they can be most efficient, and we often buy renewable energy from where it’s most efficiently produced. Moreover, we've committed more than $1 billion to renewable energy projects to grow this industry as a whole.