Feeds

Google Spanner — instamatic redundancy for 10 million servers?

Mountain View wants your exabyte

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Google’s massively global infrastructure now employs a proprietary system that automatically moves and replicates loads between its mega data centers when traffic and hardware issues arise.

The distributed technology was first hinted at — in classically coy Google fashion — during a conference this summer, and Google fellow Jeff Dean has now confirmed its existence in a presentation (PDF) delivered at a symposium earlier this month.

The platform is known as Spanner. Dean’s presentation calls it a “storage and computation system that spans all our data centers [and that] automatically moves and adds replicas of data and computation based on constraints and usage patterns.” This includes constraints related to bandwidth, packet loss, power, resources, and “failure modes”.

Dean speaks of an “automated allocation of resources across [Google’s] entire fleet of machines” — and that's quite a fleet. Google now has at least 36 data centers across the globe — though a handful may still be under construction. And as Data Center Knowledge recently noticed, the goal is to span a far larger fleet.

According to Dean’s presentation, Google is intent on scaling Spanner to between one million and 10 million servers, encompassing 10 trillion (1013) directories and a quintillion (1018) bytes of storage. And all this would be spread across “100s to 1000s” of locations around the world.

Imagine that. A single corporation housing an exabyte of the world's data across thousands of custom-built data centers.

Google Spanner

Google’s 10-million-server vision

Dean declined to discuss the presentation with The Reg. And Google’s PR arm has yet to respond to specific questions about the Spanner setup. But Google senior manager of engineering and architecture Vijay Gill alluded to the technology during an appearance at the cloud-happy Structure 09 mini-conference in San Francisco earlier this year.

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future
Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
'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
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
CAGE MATCH: Microsoft, Dell open co-located bit barns in Oz
Whole new species of XaaS spawning in the antipodes
Microsoft and Dell’s cloud in a box: Instant Azure for the data centre
A less painful way to run Microsoft’s private cloud
AWS pulls desktop-as-a-service from the PC
Support for PCoIP protocol means zero clients can run cloudy desktops
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.