Feeds

Google search primed for 'Caffeine' injection

A shot in the back-end

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

Google has completed testing on "Caffeine," a semi-mysterious overhaul of its back-end search infrastructure, and it will soon roll the new platform behind its live search engine.

In mid-August, Google unveiled a online sandbox where it invited world+dog to test the new infrastructure, but as noticed by Mashable.com, the sandbox has been replaced by a brief message from the Mountain View Chocolate Factory.

"Based on the success we've seen, we believe Caffeine is ready for a larger audience," Google's missive reads. "Soon we will activate Caffeine more widely, beginning with one data center. This sandbox is no longer necessary and has been retired, but we appreciate the testing and positive input that webmasters and publishers have given."

Previously, über-Googler Matt Cutts told The Reg that the new infrastructure was under test in a single data center - though he declined to say which one. A Google spokesman indicates that Caffeine will now be moved to a second data center for live deployment, adding that this will happen "over the next few months."

In typical Google fashion, the company has been coy about the design of Caffeine. But Matt Cutts acknowledged that it's built atop a complete revamp of the company's custom-built Google File System (GFS). Two years in the making, the new file system is known, at least informally, as GFS2.

"There are a lot of technologies that are under the hood within Caffeine, and one of the things that Caffeine relies on is next-generation storage," Cutts said. "Caffeine certainly does make use of the so-called GFS2." Caffeine includes other fresh additions to Google's famously distributed infrastructure, but Cutts declined to describe them.

Speaking with The Reg, Matt Cutts described Caffeine as an overhaul of Google's search indexing system. "Caffeine is a fundamental re-architecting of how our indexing system works," he said. "It's larger than a revamp. It's more along the lines of a rewrite. And it's really great. It gives us a lot more flexibility, a lot more power. The ability to index more documents. Indexing speeds - that is, how quickly you can put a document through our indexing system and make it searchable - is much, much better."

Building a search index is an epic number-crunching exercise. Today, Google handles the task using its proprietary Google File System, which stores the data, in tandem with a distributed technology called MapReduce, which crunches it. But these tools are used across other Google services as well, including everything from search to YouTube.

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy
Now that's a LOT of porn or pirated movies. Or, you know, other consumer stuff
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
FLAPE – the next BIG THING in storage
Find cold data with flash, transmit it from tape
Seagate chances ARM with NAS boxes for the SOHO crowd
There's an Atom-powered offering, too
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.