October 21, 2009

Google is Planning for 10 Million Servers and an Exabyte of Information

A recent presentation (73 page pdf) by a Google engineer shows that the company is preparing to manage as many as 10 million servers in the future. (H/T Sander Olson)

Google's Jeff Dean discussed a new storage and computation system called Spanner, which will seek to automate management of Google services across multiple data centers. That includes automated allocation of resources across “entire fleets of machines.”

The goal will be “automatic, dynamic world-wide placement of data & computation to minimize latency or cost.”

Future scale of Spanner:
* ~10^6 to 10^7 machines (10 million machines)
* ~10^13 directories (10 trillion directories)
* ~10^18 bytes of storage (exabyte), spread at 100s to 1000s of locations around the world, ~10^9 client machines


There is a proposal called server sky for placing millions of servers into orbit as a lower energy alternative.
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