An unofficial blog that watches Google's attempts to move your operating system online since 2005. Not affiliated with Google.

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March 14, 2007

Google's Custom Built Servers

Jeff Atwood visited the Computer History Museum from Mountain View, California. Among other impressive things, he saw one of Google's first production servers.

"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. (...)

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. 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."

Jeff thinks it's a good idea to follow Google's model and to build your own PC, by using your favorite components. He even offers some suggestions.


  1. Well i must say wow to google for running there system on what they do it very impressive . and i take my hat of to you all. We all dream of being the number one with some good ideas but to 99% of us that will never happen i have built one or two machines my self and they did me ok but to have 450000 now that is so cool.

  2. imagine a cable broke and the had to find it or they catch on fire

  3. that's only one server farm Google INDEX the WEB every single site, and returns results in 0.2 - 0.7 seconds INCREDIBLE!


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