The Google Platform

I’ve already seen several links to this today (the first from UtterlyBoring), and it’s too interesting not to point to.

The post in question posits this: Google is a platform. Not a “platform,” used in the same sense that Amazon and eBay are platforms (custom Web applications that allow some programmatic user interfaces), but an actual computer/operating system/development platform—something I had suspected for some time, but I’ve never managed to coalesce my thoughts this succintly.

What is this platform that Google is building? It’s a distributed computing platform that can manage web-scale datasets on 100,000 node server clusters. It includes a petabyte, distributed, fault tolerant filesystem, distributed RPC code, probably network shared memory and process migration. And a datacenter management system which lets a handful of ops engineers effectively run 100,000 servers….

Google is a company that has built a single very large, custom computer. It’s running their own cluster operating system. They make their big computer even bigger and faster each month, while lowering the cost of CPU cycles. It’s looking more like a general purpose platform than a cluster optimized for a single application.

While competitors are targeting the individual applications Google has deployed, Google is building a massive, general purpose computing platform for web-scale programming.

It’s one of the better tech reads I’ve seen in awhile. Very eye-opening.

Now, of course, my curiosity is taking hold, and I’d love to take a crack at developing for that platform!

One Reply to “The Google Platform”

  1. *whistle*

    Reading the article and the referenced whitepapers. Microsoft and Yahoo fighting Google over the search arena is starting to remind me of that scene in MIB 2 when Patrick Warburton was trash talking that little flower popping out of the grate.

    – – Jesse

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