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March 4, 2006

Infinite Storage, Bandwidth, and CPU Power

Some more interesting ideas from Google's Analyst Day presentation.

In a world with infinite storage, bandwidth, and CPU power, here's what we could do with consumer products.

Theme 1: Speed

Seems simple, but should not be overlooked because impact is huge. Users don't realize how slow things are until they get something faster.
Users assume it takes time for a webpage to load, but the experience should really be instantaneous.
Gmail started to do this for webmail, but that's just a small first step. Infinite bandwidth will make this a reality for all applications.

Theme 2: Store 100% of User Data

With infinite storage, we can house all user files, including: emails, web history, pictures, bookmarks, etc and make it accessible from anywhere (any device, any platform, etc).
We already have efforts in this direction in terms of GDrive, GDS, Lighthouse, but all of them face bandwidth and storage constraints today. For example: Firefox team is working on server side stored state but they want to store only URLs rather than complete web pages for storage reasons. This theme will help us make the client less important (thin client, thick server model) which suits our strength vis-a-vis Microsoft and is also of great value to the user.
As we move toward the "Store 100%" reality, the online copy of your data will become your Golden Copy and your local-machine copy serves more like a cache. An important implication of this theme is that we can make your online copy more secure than it would be on your own machine.
Another important implication of this theme is that storing 100% of a user's data makes each piece of data more valuable because it can be access across applications. For example: a user's Orkut profile has more value when it's accessible from Gmail (as addressbook), Lighthouse (as access list), etc.

Theme 3: Transparent Personalization

The more data, access, and processing Google can handle for the user, the greater our ability to use that data to transparently optimize the user's experience.
Google Desktop w/ RSS Feeds is a good first example: the user should not have to tell us which RSS feeds they want to subscribe to. We should be able to determine this implicitly.
Other potential examples: User should not have to specify the "From" address in Google Maps; user should not have to specify which currency they want to see Froogle prices in; user should not have to manually enter their buddy list into Google Talk.

From Geeking with Greg


  1. Infinite bandwidth? Are you insane? You'd have to have new internet cabling technologies to even have higher bandwidth, which costs tons of money in the first place, and even then it's still very finite. Also, infinite storage is a physical impossibility as well. Everything at google is on a server, which is writing to a hard drive. The only reason google has so much storage is because they keep buying tons of servers, hard drives, etc.

  2. I can think of another problem... the security....

    all the data has to be saved phisically somewhere...With the information of all kind of people... I hope those HD are better protected than the national bank :)

  3. Real soon, Picasa will be renamed as Lighthouse and will store more than pictures. That is what I can say.

  4. How child-like to knock it at such an early (public) stage of development. Sorry if that offends, but a child is likely to say it doesn't like sprouts without ever having tasted one.

    Is there any suggestion that this target has been achieved? No - rather, it states that this is an ambition; a target at which to aim. If the target had been hit, the product would be available now.

    I say - bring it on! Hopefully the end product will be free. If not free, at least affordable, with different ways of paying.

    Everybody has a limit to the amount of hardware they should be powering from one, two or three sockets, or risk blowing a fuse. Alternatively (as in my son-in-law's case), the whole house will need to be rewired and adapted to create a central server and any finite number of sub-station (finite due to space). What is being planned, well, grandma - here's how you suck an egg!

    As for security issues, it may have one or two problems; but a determined hacker will manage to defeat it - as in the National Bank suggestion. Nine times out of ten, what you and I may wish to store will be of little consequence to those who would exploit the service. Why pick Joe Average when John Vee-Eye-Pee is a much more lucrative prospect. And how many people buy on eBay, for example, compared to those who have their details hacked?

    Hey, Google, need any Beta Testers?


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