Our data center in Hamina, Finland is one of Google’s most unique facilities. In 2011, we converted the 60-year old paper mill into one of the most energy-efficient data centers in the world. It was a big job that required the help of more than 50 contracting firms and more than 2,000 workers. A year later, in August 2012 we began a second phase of the restoration, bringing an additional part of the facility online and expanding the scope of our operations. As with many of our facilities, we try to turn unique regional and climatological features into innovation opportunities. In our design and maintenance of our home in Hamina, we’ve developed a high-tech cooling system which pumps in sea water from the Bay of Finland. This helps us to reduce our overall energy use across the data center and is the first of its kind anywhere in the world.
So much of Google’s mission depends on the operational standards and security of our data centers, so we need great technical minds to keep them up and running. Our Hamina jobs include positions in Hardware Operations, IT and Technical Infrastructure and in Systems Architecture, as well as Field Technician and Facilities Technician roles.
Inside Google Hamina
What is a data center?
With all this talk about “the cloud,” it’s easy to forget that the web’s information lives somewhere on solid ground. Data centers are facilities that house the many computers and servers that support Google’s products. Our network of data centers is the backbone that allows us to deliver lightning fast search results, make your files available to you in a snap, and stream your favorite YouTube videos. Most medium- to large-sized companies have, or use, some kind of data center—but no one has ever done it quite at this scale before.
How are Google’s data centers different from Google offices?
Our data centers need much more space than our offices, and are usually located outside metropolitan areas. Imagine buildings the size of a football field, packed with servers, hard drives and networking equipment crunching data at an unbelievable pace. It’s a global scale computer, where teams of hardware engineers, software engineers, site reliability engineers, facilities technicians and many others work tirelessly to do more than just keep the lights on. They handle the day-to-day system administration and monitor data center performance, find ways to make our networks faster and more secure for our users, and seek out the solutions that reduce our impact on the environment. In our data centers, small teams of Googlers have huge impact on our users, our company, and, of course, our future.
What kinds of jobs are based at data centers?
Each of our data centers is a sophisticated installation that require complex maintenance, cooling and upkeep. To fill roles in Hardware Operations we require robust skills and experience in various areas like large-scale distributed systems, hardware and HVAC maintenance, facilities management, IT networking and network architecture. Here, Googlers face challenges that evolve just as quickly as the technology at their fingertips and they rely on deep knowledge in areas like engineering, materials science, and network administration to keep the engines that power our business running.
Data centers in action
All the indexing and processing that goes into answering your searches is done by computers in our data centers. It's a big job, and it takes a lot of computers to so such a big job — and plenty of people to keep them running. The folks who work in data centers keep Google computers and servers running 24 hours a day. They monitor, diagnose, fix and replace all of the data center's machines and systems, so Google can provide search results and other services to our billions of users. As the web grows, so must Google. Since our first data center opened in 2006, we’ve expanded to more than twelve locations around the globe, including brand new facilities in Asia and our first in Latin America.
Just as the health of our data network is important to us, so is the environmental well-being of the communities and regions where we’re located. In fact, we’re the first major internet services company to receive external certification of our high environmental and workplace safety standards throughout our US and European data centers. All of our US and European data centers have received voluntary ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certifications. We’re also the first company in the United States to obtain multi-site ISO 50001 Energy Management System certification of all six of our US data centers.
Whenever possible, Google is committed to using clean and renewable energy sources to
power our data centers. More than 34% of
our data center operations run on renewable energy. Long term contracts with clean
energy providers, including wind farms and solar power facilities, enable us to meet
our commitments while supporting the development of renewable technologies. And that