Without avast grid of steel beams, much of what we take for granted on the modern-dayinternet might be impossible.

Althoughit’s easy to think of the internet as a virtual world, every piece of data itholds must be stored somewhere – and in Google’s case, that includes severalenormous data centres in different parts of the world.

On its new’Where the Internet lives’ microsite, Google has pictured some of thesefacilities, including one at Council Bluffs, Iowa, which is watched over by asilent sentinel-like network of steel beams.

These arenot only there for structural support; they also carry the power cables thatkeep the facility running.

Together,these steel beams hang over more than 115,000 square feet of space, filled withserver racks and cooling pipes – the physical skeleton and muscular system ofGoogle’s virtual body.

And while onthe inside the facility is starkly clinical, with a commitment to keeping theservers clean and prolonging their lifespan, from the outside the huge datacentre sits alongside a picturesque scene of nature.

In oneexternal photograph from Google, the Council Bluffs building is shown behind asmall group of trees, in the shade of which a family of deer are taking shelterfrom the sun.