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Paranoid Google keeps its competitors in the dark

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Wired reports that Google keeps some of its Silicon Valley servers in complete darkness to avoid competitors discovering trade secrets.

door lock (shutterstock)
door lock (shutterstock)

Two years ago, Google pulled the plug in a Silicon Valley data center. It wasn't to turn off the servers, however — just the lights. Wired's Cade Metz reports that in one center at least, Google is so worried about its rivals discovering the secrets of its proprietary servers that it keeps them in complete darkness, forcing its technicians to don helmets with headlamps to carry out maintenance. The information comes from Equinix, the owner of a number of computing facilities, that rents space to Google and other internet giants. Chris Sharp, Equinix's GM of content and cloud, explains that "many [companies] try to keep things covered up. There's a lot of valuable intellectual property in here, but we were always amazed by Google and the helmets."

Google has invested a great deal of time and resources into its backend, so it's not surprising that it wants to keep it hidden away from prying eyes. If you're interested in how other companies, such as Amazon and Facebook, deal with server privacy, make sure to read Metz's full piece over at the source link.