A question for readers

Morgan Stanley analyst Mark Edelstone says that Google is going to start using AMD rather than Intel microprocessors in its homemade servers. That’s a big story. But how many servers does Google actually have? In his report, Edelstone says that Google has more than 200,000 servers, a number that’s being reported as a fact in newswire stories. Is it a fact? In a 2003 article, three Google engineers said the company had 15,000 servers (actually, they called them “commodity-class PCs”). A story in Fortune in April 2005 said Google is “widely estimated to run 250,000 servers.” I’m curious about what the right number is. Has Google recently disclosed its server count? Can someone point me to the truth? (Bonus question: How many computing clusters is it operating at the moment?) Thanks.

6 thoughts on “A question for readers

  1. Riad

    From Alex Bosworth blog (he is the son of Google VP of Engineering)

    I asked Chris what Google’s position was towards Open Source, and he told me that Google loves open source software, and they are big users of it, they really want to continue to use open source software. Of course this is not too controversial, everyone knows that Google’s 100,000+ ‘servers’ run Linux, the flagship of open source software.

    I went to a Google presentation and the question got asked, but not answered.

  2. Mark Evans

    i don’t know how many servers google currently has but three years ago i was given a tour of a hosting facility near their HQ. as much as hosting facilities as be exciting, it was impressive to see how google had stripped down hundreds, if not thousands, of standard off-the-shelf PCs to run its service.

  3. Gordon Fischer

    According to Paul Strassmann’s lecture, a standard Google Cluster contains 359 racks with 31654 machines.

    He also mentions that there are “>12” data centers around the globe. Assuming each data center has at least one Google Cluster that means that Google is operating > 379848 individual machines.

    Video of the lecture is also available at strassmann.com

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