Google is famously secretive about its data centers, so a new video on its enterprise blog that gives a glimpse into the inner workings of its facilities is a rare treat. The video emphasizes security and environmental best practices. You can watch it after the jump.

Earlier this month Facebook "open-sourced" its data center architecture by publishing the specs and other information for its Prineville, Or. data center to the Open Computer Project. Facebook emphasized energy efficiency and environmental friendliness, possibly in response to pressure from Greenpeace (though the company denies it). Google's move to open its data centers and highlight its energy practices may be influenced by Facebook.

Some highlights from the video:

  • Google builds its own customer servers.
  • Google uses its own custom, stripped down version of Linux. It uses only a minimum set of packages.
  • The facilities are hypersecure - vehicles can't enter without authorization, and iris scanners are used at some locations.
  • Google rigorously tracks all hard drives that come into the facility.