Chapter 3. The cloud data center


This chapter covers

  • What data centers are and where they are
  • Data center security and privacy
  • Regions, zones, and disaster isolation

If you’ve ever paid for web hosting before, it’s likely that the computer running as your web host was physically located in a data center. As you learned in chapter 1, deploying in the cloud is similar to traditional hosting, so, as you’d expect, if you turn on a virtual machine in, or upload a file to, the cloud, your resources live inside a data center. But where are these data centers? Are they safe? Should you trust the employees who take care of them? Couldn’t someone steal your data or the source code to your killer app?

All of these questions are valid, and their answers are pretty important—after all, if the data center was in somebody’s basement, you might not want to put your banking details on that server. The goal of this chapter is to explain how data centers have evolved over time and highlight some of the details of Google Cloud Platform’s data centers. Google’s data centers are pretty impressive (as shown in figure 3.1), but this isn’t a fashion show. Before you decide to run mission-critical stuff in a data center, you probably want to understand a little about how it works.

Figure 3.1. A Google data center

3.1. Data center locations

3.2. Isolation levels and fault tolerance

3.3. Safety concerns

3.4. Resource isolation and performance