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On the other hand, Dean seemingly thinks clusters of 1,800 servers are pretty routine, if not exactly ho-hum. And the software company runs on top of that hardware, enabling a sub-half-second response to an ordinary Google search query that involves 700 to 1,000 servers, is another matter altogether.
Google doesn't reveal exactly how many servers it has, but I'd estimate it's easily in the hundreds of thousands. It puts 40 servers in each rack, Dean said, and by one reckoning, Google has 36 data centers across the globe. With 150 racks per data center, that would mean Google has more than 200,000 servers, and I'd guess it's far beyond that and growing every day.
Google's Data Center Estimates At 200,000 Servers [news.cnet.com]
Since there are 86,400 seconds in a day, and a query can be processed in a -1/2 second, that would mean the hardware could handle all queries if every person on the planet did 12.95 searches every 1/2 second, all day, every day.
6,671,200,860 / 500,000 = 13,342.4017
60 * 60 * 24 = 86,400
86,400 * 2 = 172,800
172,800 / 13,342 = 12.9515815
That doesn't take into account the number of people who aren't online, don't own or know how to use a computer, the 39% of people who use something other than Google for search, newborns, infants, people in comas...
I know, that also doesn't account for using some of the servers for crawling, building indexes, running Adwords / Adsense, Google Docs, Google Maps, etc... and of course using more than a few of the servers to handle their Accounts Receivables and payroll processing.
I'd be more impressed to hear they had less servers.
Lenoir, NC is 100,000 sq ft - let's assume that they can fit just 5000 racks in there (which seems low) and let's assume that 2U is used instead of 1U. You have space for around 100,000 servers in that one data center. Google is reported to have 36 centers worldwide - some will be much smaller than this but I'd be amazed if there weren't already close to a million machines under their control.
We have to remember that Google processes a lot of data for all sorts of applications:
I'd be surprised if Google knew how many servers they had.
I'd be surprised if Google DIDN'T know exactly how many servers they have. A company which aims to "organize the world's information" and is so secretive knows more about itself than anyone else.
One single server could easily keep track of all other servers and pop-out a real time number not only showing total number of servers, but which ones are online, offline, age by acquired date and machine hours used for each piece of equipment (for tax amortization purposes and MTBF probability reporting).
I doubt they just "wing it".
site:google.com "data center" job
Here's a few:
Council Bluffs, IA
Berkeley County, SC (new Q2/08)
Mountain View, CA
Pryor, OK - Mayes County Data Center (08/09)
Dublin, Ireland (EU HQ)
At that time, Google did have more online (not much more though), but people just hadn't yet discovered them.
In the early days of Google, people believed they had around 11 datacentres, but have lost track of how many new ones have appeared since then.
Google now has search servers spread over 70 Class C blocks of IP address. Some of those also serve out other Google services, and some do not.
Two years ago, that number was in the low forties.
Since then, they have closed about 11 of those (mostly in the 66.102.nnn.nnn and 216 239.nnn.nnn ranges).
They have also opened 28 in the 209.85.nnn.nnn range, and 10 in the 74.125.nnn.nnn range, in the last two years.
They now have 204 GFE names accessible.
Updated lists: [webmasterworld.com...]
Number of servers?
Hmm. Maybe (70 Class C IP blocks) times (two or three or four GFE names per Class C block) times (however many PCs are in that room)...
So, perhaps 204 roomfulls of servers for search (about that number of different GFE names exist for search boxes), then you have other clusters for Google Directory, gmail, and other services... but how many servers in a room (1000 or 6000 or 10 000)?
A hint from the linked article perhaps?
*** There are more than 200 clusters running GFS, and many of these clusters consist of thousands of machines. ***
That ties in with my figures for GFE names, now that I have found the new servers that have recently come online in the brand new IP ranges.
There are many places that list Google sites. Putting them all together gives:
Mountain View, California.
San Jose, California.
Los Angeles, California.
Palo Alto, California.
The Dalles, Oregon.
Atlanta, Georgia (two sites).
Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Lenoir, North Carolina.
Goose Creek, South Carolina (Under construction).
Pryor, Oklahoma (Under construction).
Council Bluffs, Iowa (Under construction).
Sao Paolo, Brazil.
Hong Kong, China.
[edited by: tedster at 9:30 pm (utc) on June 2, 2008]
[edit reason] updated by member request [/edit]
That guess was from Peter Hidas at the Gartner Group, no slouches when it ocmes to gathering and extrapolating information.
I'm also trying to track down something relatively authoritative I read in the past few weeks where the number one million was also projected.