Google is very happy to be located in The Dalles, Oregon. We started building our data center here three years ago and today we are a fully operational site that employs approximately 200 people, ranging from technology assistants to experienced data center managers. We have had an excellent experience in The Dalles as we've built out this $600 million investment, and we look forward to being a part of the Columbia Gorge community for many years to come.
A data center is a facility used for housing a large amount of computers that store and serve vast amounts of data. Most medium to large-sized companies have, or use, some kind of data center. But for Google, data centers are especially important.
What Google does is not so different from what the human brain does, processing and storing ideas, words, images and all the context that weaves them together. We just do it on a far greater scale.
Let's use the Google search engine as an example. Our computers regularly "crawl" the Internet, storing a copy of every web page encountered. Then we index each page based on the information it contains. When you do a Google search, we look up your search terms in our index and then list the web pages that best match your search. This entire process takes place in our data centers.
Copies of all those web pages are stored on computers in our data centers. All the indexing and processing that goes into answering your searches is done on computers in our data centers. It's a big job, and we need lots of computers to do it, and lots of data centers to house those computers. The people who work in the data center keep the computers up and running every minute of every day. They monitor, diagnose, fix and replace all of the data center's machines and systems as needed, so Google can provide search results and other services around the clock to our millions of users.