Friday, March 04, 2005

How does Google work anyway?

I've often wondered how Google can not only index a gazillion pages, but also serve up the search results so accurately and quickly. Then again, I'm a geek! Maybe you don't think about things like this; if you do, you will appreciate this peek behind the scenes that internetnews provides:

"Urs Hoelzle, Google vice president of operations and vice president of engineering, offered a rare behind-the-scenes tour of Google's architecture on Wednesday. Hoelzle spoke here at EclipseCon 2005, a conference on the open source, extensible platform for software tools. To deal with the more than 10 billion Web pages and tens of terabytes of information on Google's servers, the company combines cheap machines with plenty of redundancy, Hoelzle said. Its commodity servers cost around $1,000 apiece, and Google's architecture places them into interconnected nodes. All machines run on a stripped-down Linux kernel. The distribution is Red Hat, but Hoelzle said Google doesn't use much of the distro. Moreover, Google has created its own patches for things that haven't been fixed in the original kernel."

This is a very informative overview of how the Google workstations function together and how the system's redundancy is built. Well worth a read to see how the "magic" works!

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