Google: A Peek Under the Skirt of my Favorite Search Engine

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Date: Monday, July 11th, 2005, 23:55
Category: Software

Google Query Serving ArchitectureI recently caught up with a friend who works for Google. I was curious and asked him what servers and storage Google uses in their data center, the answer is interesting and against my expectation: they use thousands of commodity PCs and cheap, off-the-shelf hard drives and rely on Google’s in-house fault-tolerant software. Here’s some of the juice…


Google Query Serving ArchitectureI recently caught up with a friend who works for Google. I was curious and asked him what servers and storage Google uses in their data center, the answer is interesting and against my expectation: they use thousands of commodity PCs and cheap, off-the-shelf hard drives and rely on Google’s in-house fault-tolerant software. Here’s some of the juice:

“Google runs its systems on cheap, no-name IU and 2U servers — so cheap that Google refers to them as PCs. After all each one has a standard x86 PC processor, standard IDE hard disk, and standard PC reliability – which means it is expected to fail once in three years.
On a PC at home, that is acceptable for many people (if only because they’re used to it), but on the scale that Google works at it becomes a real issue; in a cluster of 1,000 PCs you would expect, on average, one to fail every day. “On our scale you cannot deal with this failure by hand,” said H

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