A podcast about the unseen world of data centers

Where the Internet Lives is a podcast about the fascinating world of data centers. Join us as we venture into places that very few people ever see firsthand – and learn about the technology, people, and places that make the internet run.


Listen:

You Use Data Centers

Nearly 5 billion people use the internet, but how many could tell you where it lives? In our first episode, we explore what data centers are – and how they keep the internet going, even when events like COVID-19 trigger historic surges in traffic.

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Inside the Walls

Data centers are some of the most secure buildings on the planet. In this episode, we invite you to step inside and take a tour with one of Google’s top engineers. As we venture into computer systems that connect the world, we meet the people who keep these warehouse-scale facilities running. Plus, a little-known story about the scrappy origins of Google’s first computers.

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When the Data Center Came to Town

How do data centers intersect with the communities they call home? What kinds of jobs do they create and what do residents think of having a big computer in their backyard? In this episode, we hear what happens when the digital economy meets the industrial economy in rural Alabama.

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A Quest for 24/7 Clean Energy

What would it take to run data centers on clean electricity, everywhere, every hour of the day? In this episode, we look at the evolution of data center energy use in a world confronting the threat of climate change – and explore promising ideas that could fuel a carbon-free future.

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What If?

Power outages? Hurricanes? Wildfires? Zombies? Google’s data centers have to keep operating in even the most unexpected of circumstances. In this episode, we meet the security and operations experts responsible for the multi-layered systems that keep the internet secure.

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The Future

For fifty years, computer performance has improved exponentially while the cost of computing has plummeted – but this phenomenal “Moore’s Law” trend has begun to slow down. What does it mean for data centers and what lies ahead? In our final episode, we peer into the future of technology – from machine learning to quantum computing – and explore the next chapter in the story of the physical internet.

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“Little Pieces of a Big Puzzle”

Data centers aren't just warehouses full of computers. They also contain complex arrangements of power equipment, water treatment facilities, and cooling systems that keep computers operating smoothly around the clock.

Understanding how all these pieces fit together requires seeing the details and the big picture at the same time – something that Damian Diaz has done all his life, ever since he was a teenager fixing handheld radios in Cuba.

Damian fled Cuba to seek political asylum. His journey brought him across the ocean and desert, and pushed him to the verge of homelessness. Today, he’s a facilities technician at Google’s data center in New Albany, Ohio – where he helps keep internet services up and running worldwide.

Learn more about building your career at a data center.

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“I Feel Like I’ve Seen It All”

Modern data centers are like small cities filled with warehouse-scale computers, bundles of cables and pipes, and colossal equipment to keep everything running.

Kenny “KP” Philpot is an environmental health and safety program manager at Google's Douglas County data center outside Atlanta.

Before running around the floors of data centers, KP was running around the football field, playing for the Detroit Lions. And before playing professional football, he learned hard lessons while growing up on the South Side of Chicago.

Today, he helps make sure that vast pieces of data center infrastructure – and the technicians, electricians, and mechanical engineers who manage them – are safe and sound.

Learn more about building your career at a data center.

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“We Know Who’s Here and Why”

People and information are two of the most valuable things inside data centers. Libby Davis helps protect both.

Libby manages security at Google's data centers in Iowa. She runs a large team that monitors every movement inside the facilities – from the outer walls, to the inner sanctum where the servers sit.

Libby melded her background in law enforcement, engineering, and organizational psychology to secure one of Google’s largest pieces of computing infrastructure: a data center.

Learn more about building your career at a data center.

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“I Never Thought It Would Be Possible”

A hyperscale data center can house hundreds of thousands of servers. All that digital infrastructure requires a vast and intricate set of mechanical systems to keep machines running optimally.

Juliana Conroy-Hoey is a mechanical engineer for Google data centers in Europe.

She determines how to lay out the pipes and ductwork inside data centers for maximum efficiency and sustainability – the scale of which still gives her a sense of awe.

Learn more about building your career at a data center.

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“Challenges Are Expected”

Mamoudou “D” Diallo's life path has taken him from being a curious youngster in Guinea-Conakry, to an engineering student in Ukraine, to a technology executive in the financial industry, to his role today as a site manager for Google’s data center in New Albany, Ohio. In that role, he addresses the staffing needs of a data center, which are as complex and diverse as the technology itself. Each facility needs the right mix of server technicians, mechanical engineers, networking experts, security staff, and many other specialists.

Calling on his experiences from a variety of occupations, "D" pulls together the right folks to make things work, building a team that devises simple solutions to complicated challenges inside data centers.

Learn more about building your career at a data center.

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