Google currently has 15 data global data centers. The first data center was built on the Oregon side of the Columbia River in 2006.
Google stores subscriber data (email, documents, spreadsheets, etc.) in small pieces. Each of those pieces is copied several times and stored in multiple geographic locations.
When you look at an email or open a document, the pieces are effectively reassembled for you, on-demand.
Distributed Global Storage
Your saved Google Sheet isn’t a file that lives on a single drive in Oregon. The pieces of the file are only put back together for you and for those whom you share the file with.
Because these pieces are geographically distributed and copied, if one or even several centers were to go completely down, you would still have access to your information.
Update: At the July 2018 Google Next conference, Google announced that organizations will now be able to choose to only have their information stored in data centers in the U.S. or in Europe.
No single drive in Google’s vast global array of storage devices has meaningful G Suite customer data on it. Still, when a drive fails, it is physically destroyed.
Google’s servers are “built for failure.” Components fail all the time. When a component fails, the server tray is slid out and the component replaced. There is no server housing to remove. Because there are extra pieces of every file, a customer would never notice a component failure.
So, where is your Gmail and G Suite data stored? Everywhere and nowhere…