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Where Does YouTube Store Videos?

YouTube has forever changed the way we communicate and consume media. Almost 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every day by over 1.3 billion people around the world. If the videos were printed books, imagine the space they would take up. Fortunately, they aren’t but they still have to be stored somewhere. Where are they stored?

The Not So Invisible Cloud

If you’re a YouTube creator, you mindlessly trust and upload your best content on a platform seen by billions. Despite the shared illusion of your videos being stored in the invisible cloud, they are stored in physical locations and data centers.

YouTube stores its data in its own unique Google Modular Data Centers. Google owns and operates these data centers worldwide, helping to keep the internet up and running 24/7. There are approximately 21 Google Modular Data Centers. As of this article, these centers are spread across four continents, North America, South America, Europe, and Asia.

Google Modular Data Center Locations

Below are the data center locations as of 2020.

North America Locations

South America Locations

Europe Locations

Asia Locations:

The expansion of Google Data Centers

The journey of the development and release of Google Module Data Centers was no easy road. Nevertheless, they were strategically placed and built in phases to ease the public into the idea that their data would be kept safe.

In 2001, Google pioneered its own custom-designed servers that used highly efficient power supplies. By 2003, Google designed its first fleet of portable data centers to host their custom servers. These centers were made portable as they were shipping containers pre-packed with servers and cooling equipment. In 2006, the centers were re-designed with the same benefits but with greater flexibility. By 2014, Google developed software that optimizes their data centers by predicting and guiding their energy use.

Inside the Data Centers

The Google Module Data Centers were rumored to cost US$600 million each and use from 50 to 103 megawatts of electricity. As the Google Data Centers become the pioneer of data storage and network innovation, many people wanted do know what these centers looked like from the inside.

In 2015, Google released virtual reality tours inside a data center for employees. However, Google has been extremely diligent at concealing details related to their servers and cooling equipment used in their data centers.

Here is what we do know about these centers. Each shipping container can hold up to 1,160 servers and uses 250 kilowatts of power, giving the container a power density of more than 780 watts per square foot. Google’s design allows the containers to operate at a temperature of 81 degrees in the cold aisle.

Systems for storing data

Google relies on a distributed computing system for the access and creation of data, including the data for storing videos. While Google has their own custom infrastructure design for the servers hosted inside of their data centers, they’re still able to use cheaper hardware as they capitalize on the Google File System (GFS) to do its heavy loading. The GFS is an innovative system exclusively made for managing Google’s data.

Plainly speaking, when you upload and watch videos on YouTube, the distributed computing system allows the memory, processor power, and hard drive space to be available across all of the connected servers in the data center. The GFS appropriately manages the large files so that it will remain available to the viewer.


YouTube videos are stored in real locations and those locations are Google Module Data Centers. These are located across the world. They are integrated with a powerful custom server and computing design, which are the backbones of our needed video and data storage.

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  • Shana has a B.S. in Computer Science. She is a business tech strategist, blogger, and ghostwriter, who is the helping hand for business owners looking for tech and content creation help for their business. She empowers them with the tools and knowledge they need to create financial stability for themselves through multiple streams of income.

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