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Google Clouds- Business Week Article

Some quick reading to start your day. Last night I read an article in Business Week about Google Clouds-

"What is Google's cloud? It's a network made of hundreds of thousands, or by some estimates 1 million, cheap servers, each not much more powerful than the PCs we have in our homes. It stores staggering amounts of data, including numerous copies of the World Wide Web. This makes search faster, helping ferret out answers to billions of queries in a fraction of a second. Unlike many traditional supercomputers, Google's system never ages. When its individual pieces die, usually after about three years, engineers pluck them out and replace them with new, faster boxes. This means the cloud regenerates as it grows, almost like a living thing."

A Google employee wanted to teach students at his Alma matar about the mechanics of Google clouds. The article brings up interesting issues. The private sector potentially having access to ridiculous amounts of data. It reminds me of a science fiction movie where we hope the owners of this data are on the "right side." What can one do with this information? On the other hand, it's giving the power of the Google search engine and the force of their engineers to scientists and small groups that need to store and analyze their data.

It reminds me of the TED Conferences, (ted.com), where people from all fields come together to brainstorm about various issues, versus data being harnessed in this way. Heck, the guy probably went to a TED Conference and came up with this idea through it.

Finally, another interesting point is that the author notes there are only 5 super computers in the world- all based in the US. What does that mean for our future power? Google, Yahoo, IBM, Microsoft and Amazon.

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/07_52/b4064048925836.htm?chan=top+news_top+news+index_best+of+bw