12 Beautiful Photos Of Google's (Problematic) Data Centers

They're gorgeous images, published with convenient timing.

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Two things need to be said about these images of data centers--the server storage areas for tech giants--just released from Google: a) They're breathtakingly beautiful, and b) They're a breathtakingly beautiful PR push.

It's not a coincidence that these images are being released after a report from The New York Times about the wastefulness of data centers. Only a fraction--6 to 12 percent--of the energy used in such centers, The Times reported, went to computational services. Facebook was slammed by the investigation, but so was Google: The search company uses almost 300 million watts to power its centers, and it doesn't always go to good use. "[D]ata centers can waste 90 percent or more of the electricity they pull off the grid," they wrote.

So it's not surprising that so many of the images released by Google would highlight efficiency and environmental friendliness--water vapor means "our cooling towers are at their most efficient," while several photos show the tech that goes into keeping the servers cool.

But they're still a lovely look at the rarely-seen centers, even if the glasses you're looking at them through aren't so rose-colored.

Google's Campus Network

A collection of switches and routers that keep Google's data centers in contact.Google

Data Center In Council Bluffs, Iowa

An array of steel beams holds up the structure.Google

Council Bluffs Antenna

This antenna receives signals for Google's Access Services unit and Google Fiber's TV service.Google

Water Pipes Inspection

In Douglas County, Georgia, a man inspects pipes running under the floor.Google

Fire-Fighting Pipes

Google keeps pipes full of pressurized water on hand in case of a fire.Google

Server Aisle

A server aisle in Mayes, Oklahoma. The lights are from green LEDs showing the status of the servers.Google

Colorful Pipes

Pipes carry water to and from a data center In The Dalles, Oregon.Google

Fabrication Area

An employee works on wire at a "fabrication area" in the Lenoir, North Carolina data center.Google

Cooling Towers

Steam rises from towers in The Dalles, Oregon.Google

Pryor, Oklahoma

An aerial view of Google's Pryor, Oklahoma data center.Google

Hamina, Finland

Google renovated an old paper mill to create this data center.Google

Hamina Center Exterior

Google maintains three centers in Europe. The Hamina, Finland center is one of them.