size of google
[lead from Limbic]
This blog item discusses both technical aspects of the free email service
proposed last week by Google, GMail,
and the probable Google corporate philosophy for development.
“Google has 100,000 servers. [nytimes]
If a server/disk dies, they leave it dead in the rack, to be reclaimed/replaced
later. Hardware failures need to be instantly routed around by software.
“Google has built their own distributed, fault-tolerant, petabyte
filesystem, the Google
Filesystem [GFS]. This is ideal for the job. Say GFS replicates
user email in three places; if a disk or a server dies, GFS can automatically
make a new copy from one of the remaining two.”
“ Google doesn't deploy bare motherboards on exposed trays anymore;
they're on at least the fourth iteration of their cheap hardware platform.
Google now has an institutional competence building and maintaining
servers that cost a lot less than the servers everyone else is using.
And they do it with fewer people.”
“While competitors are targeting the individual applications Google
has deployed, Google is building a massive, general purpose computing
platform for web-scale programming.”
Note that the nascent GMail
is under threat because it
“[...] scans the content of incoming email and seeds it with
targeted ads. This is forbidden, under German privacy laws [...] Snooping
on email is permitted only when substantial criminal activity is suspected.
- petabyte: a measure of memory or storage capacity
2 to the 50th power (1,125,899,906,842,624) bytes.
A petabyte is equal to 1,024 terabytes, or roughly 10^15 bytes.