+ Post New Thread
Results 1 to 6 of 6
Jokes/Interweb Things Thread, Google’s First Production Server in Fun Stuff; Not sure if this is genuine but still, quite interesting..... Google...
  1. #1

    mattx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    9,240
    Thank Post
    1,058
    Thanked 1,068 Times in 625 Posts
    Rep Power
    740

    Google’s First Production Server

    Not sure if this is genuine but still, quite interesting.....

    Google

  2. #2


    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    8,202
    Thank Post
    442
    Thanked 1,032 Times in 812 Posts
    Rep Power
    339
    I understood this is how Google still do things; massive amounts of cheap desktop hardware instead of expensive servers.
    I've mused about doing something similar for a farm of Citrix servers, just got to get around to it.

  3. #3
    R0M
    R0M is offline
    R0M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    68
    Thank Post
    7
    Thanked 8 Times in 8 Posts
    Rep Power
    13
    I've also 'heard' that Google just use 'bazillions' cheep/almost free desktops instead of real servers but I think that its just an urban myth... There is a good video here of a Google data center, one of many apparently... I don't see any cheep old PC's there though :P

  4. #4

    mattx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    9,240
    Thank Post
    1,058
    Thanked 1,068 Times in 625 Posts
    Rep Power
    740
    Quote Originally Posted by R0M View Post
    I've also 'heard' that Google just use 'bazillions' cheep/almost free desktops instead of real servers but I think that its just an urban myth... There is a good video here of a Google data center, one of many apparently... I don't see any cheep old PC's there though :P
    I rather enjoyed watching that video over my cornflakes this morning. Reminded me of the data centre I used to work in many years ago.....

  5. #5


    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    51.403651, -0.515458
    Posts
    8,891
    Thank Post
    226
    Thanked 2,672 Times in 1,970 Posts
    Rep Power
    786
    Quote Originally Posted by R0M View Post
    I've also 'heard' that Google just use 'bazillions' cheep/almost free desktops instead of real servers but I think that its just an urban myth...
    It's definitely not an urban myth. The servers that MattX mentioned above are on display at the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley. When Larry and Sergey were at Standford they also used Duplo bricks in their server room.

    If Google's first production server resembles a hastily cobbled together amalgam of off-the-shelf computer parts circa 1999, well, that's because it is. Just like Google's original servers at Stanford. If you think this rack is scary, you should see what it replaced.

    Instead of buying whatever pre-built rack-mount servers Dell, Compaq, and IBM were selling at the time, Google opted to hand-build their server infrastructure themselves. The sagging motherboards and hard drives are literally propped in place on handmade plywood platforms. The power switches are crudely mounted in front, the network cables draped along each side. The poorly routed power connectors snake their way back to generic PC power supplies in the rear.

    Some people might look at these early Google servers and see an amateurish fire hazard. Not me. I see a prescient understanding of how inexpensive commodity hardware would shape today's internet. I felt right at home when I saw this server; it's exactly what I would have done in the same circumstances. This rack is a perfect example of the commodity x86 market D.I.Y. ethic at work: if you want it done right, and done inexpensively, you build it yourself.

    Even today, Google is serious about exerting total control over the servers in their now-massive server farms. They build their own high-efficiency power supplies, and conduct fascinating, public research on disk failure (PDF). Current estimates put Google's server farm at around 450,000 machines-- and they're still custom built, commodity-class x86 PCs, just like they were in 1999. (Source)

  6. #6


    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    51.403651, -0.515458
    Posts
    8,891
    Thank Post
    226
    Thanked 2,672 Times in 1,970 Posts
    Rep Power
    786
    According to this article, Google has two different types of data centres: one for content delivery (their search engine, YouTube, GMail etc.) and another for business critical services (the servers running their internal systems, AdSense etc.). The former is the one which uses DIY parts where failure doesn't matter. e.g.

    Google's server design for their content delivery data centers includes a full 12V system (no 3V or 5V components) with lead-acid battery backup (instead of a central UPS). The battery is said to power the system "for a few minutes" during an outage, after which the backup generators should be running and supplying power. Google said at their Data Center Efficiency Summit, "if the generators don't kick in within a few minutes, you have bigger problems and better have a fail over strategy."

    Generally this is true; if your generators don't kick in within a few minutes, you are going to have bigger problems. That's why it is important to test them regularly, and familiarize yourself with their operation. Continually evaluate whether the generators are appropriately sized for today's IT load.

    This gets back to availability versus efficiency; Google again chooses cost efficiency over availability, and the system-wide design of their homogeneous software architecture enables this battery design decision. Conventional UPS systems can power a data center for an hour or more, and battery systems can be extended centrally to provide more runtime. The battery-on-server system cannot be extended without replacing batteries on every piece of equipment or waiting for a refresh cycle. It does, however, provide a distributed battery backup that eliminates the single point of failure (central UPS) in conventional designs.

SHARE:
+ Post New Thread

Similar Threads

  1. Getting a web-server ready for production
    By HodgeHi in forum Web Development
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 28th April 2009, 11:30 AM
  2. Replies: 11
    Last Post: 27th January 2009, 07:24 PM
  3. Anyone using flex profiles in production
    By pete in forum Windows
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 20th October 2006, 10:57 AM
  4. Age of your oldest (production) server?
    By pete in forum General Chat
    Replies: 35
    Last Post: 10th February 2006, 07:07 PM

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •