Jun 2, 2008 114 reads by Navneet Kaushal

At the Google I/O Conference, according to news.com, Google lifted the iron curtains and gave a sneak peak of the Google Data Center Operations. Google Fellow Jeff Dean spoke a bit about the mystic realm of the Google data centers. Google has 36 data centers across the globe. As per Jeff, Google keeps 40 servers in each rack, where Google has 150 racks per data center. Google never really reveals its server arsenal, but he can only logically assume that with 150 racks per data center, it would be anywhere in the vicinity of more than 200,000 servers and counting.

Dean said at the conference, “Our view is it's better to have twice as much hardware that's not as reliable than half as much that's more reliable. You have to provide reliability on a software level. If you're running 10,000 machines, something is going to die every day."

Over at the Webmaster World, the users are awestruck at this revelation and have posted their thoughts and comments.

Here are some excerpts from the thread:

“For some time now, the number tossed around in many informed speculations has been 500,000 servers. Since this 200,000 is also one reporter's speculation and not any official word from Google, I'm still more inclined toward the 500,000 number.”

“With world population at 6,671,200,860, if Google has a half million servers — that's one server for every 13,342 people.

Since there are 86,400 seconds in a day, and a query can be processed in a -1/2 second, that would mean the hardware could handle all queries if every person on the planet did 12.95 searches every 1/2 second, all day, every day.

6,671,200,860 / 500,000 = 13,342.4017
60 * 60 * 24 = 86,400
86,400 * 2 = 172,800
172,800 / 13,342 = 12.9515815

That doesn't take into account the number of people who aren't online, don't own or know how to use a computer, the 39% of people who use something other than Google for search, newborns, infants, people in comas…

I know, that also doesn't account for using some of the servers for crawling, building indexes, running Adwords / Adsense, Google Docs, Google Maps, etc… and of course using more than a few of the servers to handle their Accounts Receivables and payroll processing.

I'd be more impressed to hear they had less servers.”

“Let's look at a new Google data center and see how far out 200,000 servers really is…

Lenoir, NC is 100,000 sq ft – let's assume that they can fit just 5000 racks in there (which seems low) and let's assume that 2U is used instead of 1U. You have space for around 100,000 servers in that one data center. Google is reported to have 36 centers worldwide – some will be much smaller than this but I'd be amazed if there weren't already close to a million machines under their control.

We have to remember that Google processes a lot of data for all sorts of applications:

  • Google Search
  • AdWords
  • Maps
  • Analytics
  • YouTube"

Google is progressing at the speed of light and the evolution that it is going through is monumental in nature. It would be really thrilling to track Google's progress in the future. I'm sure everyone will be watching the near future very closely.

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
Navneet Kaushal
Navneet Kaushal
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