Here Are Google’s Plans For A Crazy New Campus


The technology giant wants to build sci-fi offices under a canopy of glass. Check out the photos.

Google is planning a futuristic campus that it hopes will live up to its innovative image.

Renderings, submitted to the Internet giant’s hometown of Mountain View, Calif., show office buildings enclosed in tents of glass that look like undulating greenhouses. Office walls are designed to be adjustable so that they can be moved like furniture depending on the company’s needs.

“Instead of constructing immoveable concrete buildings, we’ll create lightweight block-like structures which can be moved around easily as we invest in new product areas,” David Radcliffe, Google’s vice president of real estate, said in a blog post Friday. “Large translucent canopies will cover each site, controlling the climate inside yet letting in light and air.”

The sci-fi campus is Google’s effort to get some elbow room as it continues to rapidly expand while creating more pizazz for its headquarters. The company has nearly 15,000 workers in Mountain View spread across a hodgepodge of dozens of low slung corporate buildings that are if anything, undistinguished.

But the plans are apt to generate opposition from locals who are already grappling with traffic gridlock and fear environmental damage to nearby San Francisco Bay wetlands. Mountain View’s City Council will have to weigh the concerns against the possibility of losing jobs to neighboring cities.

In a slick presentation of images and a video, Google  GOOG 0.23%  cast the new offices as a way to reduce street congestion and suburban sprawl. The company said that the remade campus would free up room for more nature by freeing up space currently used for parking lots.

Interior of a proposed building within a canopy that includes buildings that operate like furniture—light, tactile and reconfigurable.Courtesy of Google

Left unsaid is the reality that Google is falling behind in the race among Silicon Valley giants for cool corporate architecture and the recruiting advantage it creates. Apple, for example, is building a doughnut-shaped headquarters nearby that’s commonly referred to as the “spaceship.”

Google’s offices, designed by the architectural firms BIGand Heatherwick Studio, are supposed to bridge indoors and outdoors by creating spaces that are like indoor gardens. Of course, there will be offices too, where presumably, techies will be hard at work on their computers tweaking the company’s search engine, coming up with ways to make people click on more ads and coming up with oddball projects like self-driving cars.

However, the renderings are preliminary and do not include any actual specifics like architectural designs. At this point, they designs are hardly cast in stone – or glass, in this case – and subject to change and approval by the city government.

Proposed building surrounded by restored natural habitat. A parking structure is hidden below this landscaped garden.

Run on Google’s infrastructure

Build on the same infrastructure that allows Google to return billions of search results in milliseconds, serve 6 billion hours of YouTube video per month and provide storage for 425 million Gmail users.

Global network

Google has one of the largest and most advanced computer networks. Google’s backbone network has thousands of miles of fiber optic cable, uses advanced software-defined networking and has edge caching services to deliver fast, consistent and scalable performance. In fact, we even laid our own fiber optic cable under the Pacific Ocean.

Redundancy

Multiple points of presence across the globe provides strong redundancy. Your data is automatically mirrored across storage devices in multiple locations.

Cutting-edge computer science

Infrastructure innovation isn’t just about hardware. Google has led the industry with innovations in software infrastructure such as MapReduceBigTable and Dremel. Today, Google is pushing the next generation of innovation with products such as Spanner and Flume. When you build on Cloud Platform, you get access to Google’s technology innovations faster.

Google Infrastructure

“[Google’s] ability to build, organize, and operate a huge network of servers and fiber-optic cables with an efficiency and speed that rocks physics on its heels…This is what makes Google Google: its physical network, its thousands of fiber miles, and those many thousands of servers that, in aggregate, add up to the mother of all clouds.”

Focus on your product

Rapidly develop, deploy and iterate your applications without worrying about system administration. Google manages your application, database and storage servers so you don’t have to.

Managed services

Let Google worry about database administration, server configuration, sharding and load balancing while you focus on your code. No need to carry a pager or write boilerplate code.

Developer tools and SDKs

Google integrates with familiar development tools like Eclipse and provides API client libraries and a command-line interface, which makes it easy to build the way you want.

Console and administration

See and manage all of your applications from a single console. View the performance of your applications and manage your account and billing with a simple interface.

“If we didn’t have Google App Engine, we’d be spending a lot more time figuring out server setup and working on routers. Our ability to focus on the actual product is the benefit of Google App Engine.”

Scale to millions of users (and back)

Applications hosted on Cloud Platform can automatically scale up to handle the most demanding workloads and scale down when traffic subsides. You pay only for what you use.

Scale-up

Cloud Platform is designed to scale like Google’s own products, even when you experience a huge traffic spike. Managed services such as App Engine or Cloud Datastore give you auto-scaling that enables your application to grow with your users.

Scale-down

Just as Cloud Platform allows you to scale-up, managed services also scale down. You don’t pay for computing resources that you don’t need.

“Google App Engine has allowed us to benefit from instant scalability. We haven’t had anything to worry about as the site grows.”

Mix and match services

Virtual machines. Managed platform. Blob storage. Block storage. NoSQL datastore. MySQL database. Big Data analytics. Google Cloud Platform has all the services your application architecture needs.

Compute

Cloud Platform offers both a fully managed platform and flexible virtual machines, allowing you to choose a system that meets your needs. Use App Engine, our Platform-as-a-Service, when you just want to focus on your code and not worry about patching or maintenance. Get access to raw virtual machines with Compute Engine and have the flexibility to build anything you need.

Storage

Google Cloud Platform provides a range of storage services that allow you to maintain easy and quick access to your data. With Cloud SQL and Datastore you get MySQL or schemaless NoSQL databases, whileCloud Storage provides flexible object storage with global edge caching.

Services

Use Google APIs and services to quickly enable a wide range of functionality for your application. You don’t need to build these from scratch, just take advantage of easy integration within Cloud Platform.

Performance you can count on

Every millisecond of latency matters. Google’s compute infrastructure gives you consistent CPU, memory and disk performance. Our network and edge cache serve responses rapidly to your users across the world.

CPU, memory, disk

Google Cloud Platform provides fast and consistent performance across the range of computing, storage and application services. With powerful processing, access to the memory you need and high IOPS, your application will deliver consistent performance to your users. You enjoy the benefits of reduced latency and avoid noisy-neighbor problems.

Global network

Google uses software-defined networking technology to route packets across the globe and enable fast edge-caching so that your data is where it needs to be to serve your users. When every millisecond of latency counts, Google makes sure that your content is delivered quickly.

Transparent maintenance

Virtual machines never go down for scheduled maintenance with new, built-in live-migration technology. Get the peace of mind of knowing hosts are patched and data centers are maintained without the headaches of downtime.

Get the support you need

Google Cloud Platform is backed up by a robust support offering providing you with varying levels of support options depending on your needs.

Free community based support

All customers have access to free community based support including resources, training content, anddocumentation. We also utilize first and third party resources to actively monitor and answer questions on Stackoverflow which helps build out a highly curated, reliable source of public support information. You can also reach us on Twitter or Google+.

24×7 Phone Support

Access trained experts 24×7 over the phone, in English or Japanese with your comprehensive 24×7 Gold Support package. Get rapid response times to make sure your issues are addressed with the highest priorities. We also offer consultation on application development, best practices, and architecture reviews for your specific use cases. For the most mission-critical applications secure direct access to our Technical Account Management team for an even higher level of service.