Over the past couple of weeks, I've completely moved techphooey from a Server in my bedroom to a full blown dedicated server in a data centre. After finishing a lot of research I discovered something which I completed missed early last year. Google announced that their secret server sause is a custom built server infrastructure. In the days when Google was first starting out, money was short and performance was key. The idea of building your own servers saves a lot of money, racks and racks of bare bone servers are easier to manage and easier to fix. These units are so exposed it looks like something you would find in a bedroom startup, which is exactly how Google started out.
The biggest suprise for me was the way Google handles backup power. "each server has its own 12-volt battery to supply power if there's a problem with the main source of electricity. The company also revealed for the first time that since 2005, its data centers have been composed of standard shipping containers--each with 1,160 servers and a power consumption that can reach 250 kilowatts".
It's good to see such an efficient use of resources. The full article is a great read over at CNET.Google Custom Servers