Feeds

Google search primed for 'Caffeine' injection

A shot in the back-end

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Caffeinated YouTube?

Google's overarching philosophy is to build a single, distributed architecture that runs all its services. And Cutts acknowledged that many of the back-end tools that drive the new indexing system - including GFS2 - will eventually be put to use across other Google services.

Part of the appeal of GFS2 is that it's specifically designed to handle low-latency applications, including Gmail and YouTube. With the original GFS, a master node oversees data spread across a series of distributed "chunkservers." For apps that require low latency, that lone master is a problem.

"One GFS shortcoming that this immediately exposed had to do with the original single-master design," former GFS tech lead Sean Quinlan has said. "A single point of failure may not have been a disaster for batch-oriented applications, but it was certainly unacceptable for latency-sensitive applications, such as video serving."

GF2S uses not only distributed slaves, but distributed masters as well.

In recent weeks, Mountain View has also acknowledged the existence of a new back-end technology known as Google Spanner, a means of automatically moving and replicating loads between the company's mega data centers when traffic and hardware issues arise. But a company spokesman tells us this is not part of Caffeine, although he says that "both [are] part of an ongoing company-wide effort to improve our infrastructure."

In a recent presentation (PDF) at a distributed-computing shindig in Montana, Google fellow Jeff Dean seemed to describe Spanner in the present tense. Though he declined to discuss the presentation with The Reg, he indicated that all the information in our recent piece on the mystery technology is correct.

According to Dean, Google intends on scaling Spanner to between one million and 10 million servers, encompassing 10 trillion directories and a quintillion bytes of storage. And all this would be spread across “100s to 1000s” of facilities across the globe.

Today, Google operates roughly 40 data centers, and it seems that Caffeine will be deployed one facility at a time. According to Cutts, this involves taking each data center offline and shifting its load elsewhere.

"At any point, we have the ability to take one data center out of the rotation, if we wanted to swap out power components or different hardware - or change the software," he said. "So you can imagine building an index at one of the data centers and then copying that data throughout all the other data centers. If you want to deploy new software, you could take one of the data centers out of the traditional rotation."

So, somewhere in the world, there's a mega data center on the verge of sabbatical. Or perhaps it's already happened. Presumably, Google will tell us at some point. And tell us very little. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
Want to STUFF Facebook with blatant ADVERTISING? Fine! But you must PAY
Pony up or push off, Zuck tells social marketeers
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
SAVE ME, NASA system builder, from my DEAD WORKSTATION
Anal-retentive hardware nerd in paws-on workstation crisis
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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.
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.