"Recently, Google Fellow Jeff Dean gave a presentation at the
LADIS 2009 (Large Scale Distributed Systems and Middleware)
Conference. As with some of his previous talks, this one did an
excellent job of revealing a bit more about how Google builds
systems and what they've learned in doing so.
"Working at the scale they do (thousands and thousands of
servers) is especially interesting because you have to really step
back and change your thinking about the available building blocks
and how they can best fit together to get the job done. And to do
so it helps to have a good high level mental model of the pieces
and their performance. In Google's case, this means having 40-80
servers (4-8 cores, 16GB RAM, 2TB disk) in a rack all connected via
a gigabit ethernet switch. Multiple (30+) racks then uplink to a
another switch to form a cluster. And services are designed to run
across multiple clusters in different data centers around the
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