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Google is tight-lipped about its computing operations, but the company for the first time on Wednesday revealed the hardware at the core of its Internet might at a conference here about the increasingly prominent issue of data center efficiency.
Google's big surprise: each server has its own 12-volt battery to supply power if there's a problem with the main source of electricity. The company also revealed for the first time that since 2005, its data centers have been composed of standard shipping containers--each with 1,160 servers and a power consumption that can reach 250 kilowatts.
It may sound geeky, but a number of attendees--the kind of folks who run data centers packed with thousands of servers for a living--were surprised not only by Google's built-in battery approach, but by the fact that the company has kept it secret for years. Jai said in an interview that Google has been using the design since 2005 and now is in its sixth or seventh generation of design.
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Originally posted by ambushrocks
I'm not supprised by the back up medium, a battery, but by the voltage... 12 volts...these servers must be enormous energy efficient to run on that. I've installed back up power supply on my owns servers but it runs on 220
Originally posted by blackbirdish
The batteries are probably extremely efficient. Or their using tesla/bedini/bearden technology to self power them.
Originally posted by johnsky
I'm not surprised by the 12 volt backups either... but I am however very surprised to see them using shipping containers as server houses!
I always pictured them using a heavily cooled server room like everyone else.