Feeds

Microsoft yawns at Google's chillerless data center antidote

Instant failover? We do that too

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Microsoft wouldn't be surprised if Google is using some sort of custom-built mystery software that automatically shifts workloads between its mega data centers. After all, Microsoft is doing much the same thing.

"We are at such an enormous scale. Think about this world where many data centers and hundreds of thousands of servers are running search and enterprise services and all sorts of services," Microsoft data center chief Arne Josefsberg tells The Reg.

"These infrastructures that we run - and that Google does too - are so large, you can't really rely on individuals to manually make these decisions on an application failing-over from one [data center] site to another. Essentially, it all has to be built into automation software that makes these types of decisions."

This summer, at a cloud-happy mini-conference in San Francisco, Google architecture guru/quip-meister Vijay Gill hinted that the Mountain View Chocolate Factory had developed some sort of back-end technology that automatically moves live compute loads to other locations when a data center verges on overheating.

"You have to have integration with everything right from the chillers down all the way to the CPU," Gill said. "Sometimes, there's a temperature excursion, and you might want to do a quick load-shedding to prevent a temperature excursion because, hey, you have a data center with no chillers. You want to move some load off. You want to cut some CPUs and some of the processes in RAM."

And, yes, he indicated the company has a way of redistributing these workloads (near-)instantly. "How do you manage the system and optimize it on a global-level? That is the interesting part," he continued. "What we’ve got here [with Google] is massive - like hundreds of thousands of variable linear programming problems that need to run in quasi-real-time. When the temperature starts to excurse in a data center, you don’t have the luxury to sitting around for a half an hour...You have on the order of seconds."

Apparently, that bit about the "data center with no chillers" was a reference to Google's new facility in Saint-Ghislain, Belgium. According to a report from Data Center Knowledge, the Belgium facility really does operate without chillers, using nothing but the outside Belgium air - aka "free-cooling" - to keep temperatures low in the server room.

And it seems that when the Belgium summer gets too hot, Google uses its mystery software platform to shift loads elsewhere. Though the company won't actually fess up. "I don't believe we have published any papers regarding that," uber-Googler Matt Cutts recently told The Reg.

A typically coy Google remark? Microsoft seems to think so.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
Intel, Cisco and co reveal PLANS to keep tabs on WORLD'S MACHINES
Connecting everything to everything... Er, good idea?
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster
6TB of DRAM, 38TB of SSD flash and 120TB of disk storage
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
Oracle hires former SAP exec for cloudy push
'We know Larry said cloud was gibberish, and insane, and idiotic, but...'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.