Data centers

Infographic: Where your cloud data really lives

More and more of our data--our credit card numbers, tweets, photos, personal documents, browsing habits, music, and a hundred other things--is stored "in the cloud." The cloud metaphor evokes images of bits and bytes floating around in the ether somewhere, and we rarely hear tech companies talking about their data centers, where the data really lives.

That's partly because data centers are boring. They're typically huge concrete buildings that contain rows and rows of servers in racks, with a couple of guys who walk around looking thoughfully at little blinking lights, and then making little checkmarks on a clipboard. Another reason you don't hear much about data centers is that all those servers require huge amounts of power to run them and keep them cool—and in some cases this makes them far from green.

At any rate, the image below shows the locations of many of the major data centers that preserve your Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter data.

Data centersIllustration by Mark Todd
Where your cloud data really lives.

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