Data Centres: Google vs Facebook

Ever wondered how Google and Facebook manage to answer your searches, send your emails and post your status updates? And how they never ever seem to crash, unlike other systems and sites (naming no names, Blackberry and the London 2012 ticketing site….).

Aside from a whole heap of complex coding, the answer lies in their vast data centres.

Google has eight giant data centres containing hundreds of thousands of servers that store its information and power its services. In fact, they’re so large, engineers are given bicycles (Google branded, of course) to get around them! Fancy taking a look yourself? You can now through Google Street View.

Likewise, Facebook has three data centres in the US, with another being built in North Carolina. It also recently unveiled its first site outside of the US, which has been built in Lulea in Sweden and will be complete in 2014.

For a quick comparison – our pic shows Google’s data centre in Iowa, which is spread over 115,000 square feet and Facebook’s data centre in Oregan, which is spread over 330,000 square feet.