Ronny Lam


Google Throws Open Doors to Its Top-Secret Data Center

Steven Levy was the first journalist to visit a Google data center and wrote about it in Wired:

Over the years, Google has also built a software system that allows it to manage its countless servers as if they were one giant entity. Its in-house developers can act like puppet masters, dispatching thousands of computers to perform tasks as easily as running a single machine. In 2002 its scientists created Google File System, which smoothly distributes files across many machines. MapReduce, a Google system for writing cloud-based applications, was so successful that an open source version called Hadoop has become an industry standard. Google also created software to tackle a knotty issue facing all huge data operations: When tasks come pouring into the center, how do you determine instantly and most efficiently which machines can best afford to take on the work? Google has solved this “load-balancing” issue with an automated system called Borg.


It is a good thing Google is getting more and more transparent about their data centers. Since they commited themselves to be carbon neutral they owe it to themselves and the people to report about it. Have a look at their datacenter website including the gallery with some great pictures.