Server Farming

Apr 2 2009   2:40PM GMT

Google’s server recipe no longer secret

Bridget Botelho Profile: Bridget Botelho

Looks like Google has finally spilled the beans on its server design, which the company has kept secret for years.

According to a report, Google let everyone see its design at a conference this week. The system was a 3.5 inch thick 2U system with two processors, two hard drives, and eight memory slots mounted on a motherboard built by Gigabyte. Google uses x86 processors from AMD and Intel, and the servers are powered by 12-volt batteries in case there’s a problem with the main source of electricity, according to the report.

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We already knew that Google uses 12-volt power supplies for its servers, which the company says is more than 90% efficient compared with typical server efficiencies at or below 70%.

For the most part, Google runs these servers not out of brick and mortar data centers, but from those shipping containers that have become all the rage with vendors like Sun Microsystems , IBM, HP and Rackable Systems in recent years. Google was putting data centers in mobile containers long before those guys, and typically uses standard 1AAA shipping containers to house around 1,160 servers each, according to the report.

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