Discuss as:

'Where the internet lives': A virtual window on Google's secret world of data

Google via AP

A Google data center in in Douglas Country, Ga.

AP reports -- Google is opening a virtual window into the secretive data centers where an intricate maze of computers process Internet search requests, show YouTube video clips and distribute email for millions of people. The unprecedented peek is being provided through a new website unveiled Wednesday.

Where the internet lives - Google data centers

The photographic access to Google's data centers coincides with the publication of a Wired magazine article about how the company builds and operates them. The article is written by Steven Levy, a journalist who won Google's trust while writing "In The Plex," a book published last year about the company's philosophy and evolution.

As Google blossomed from its roots in a Silicon Valley garage, company co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin worked with other engineers to develop a system to connect low-cost computer servers in a way that would help them realize their ambition to provide a digital roadmap to all of the world's information.

Initially, Google just wanted enough computing power to index all the websites on the Internet and deliver quick responses to search requests. As Google's tentacles extended into other markets, the company had to keep adding more computers to store videos, photos, email and information about their users' preferences.

Read the full story.

Google via AP

A Google technician works on some of the computers in the Dalles, Ore., data center.

Google via AP

A Google data center in Hamina, Finland. Google is opening a virtual window into the secretive data centers that serve as its nerve center. The unprecedented peek is being provided through a new website unveiled Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012. The site features photos from inside some of the eight data centers that Google Inc. already has running in the U.S., Finland and Belgium.

 Follow @NBCNewsPictures

Sign up for the NBCNews.com Photos Newsletter