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Google uncloaks once-secret server

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posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 07:28 AM
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Here's an image of the server




Google is tight-lipped about its computing operations, but the company for the first time on Wednesday revealed the hardware at the core of its Internet might at a conference here about the increasingly prominent issue of data center efficiency.

Google's big surprise: each server has its own 12-volt battery to supply power if there's a problem with the main source of electricity. The company also revealed for the first time that since 2005, its data centers have been composed of standard shipping containers--each with 1,160 servers and a power consumption that can reach 250 kilowatts.

It may sound geeky, but a number of attendees--the kind of folks who run data centers packed with thousands of servers for a living--were surprised not only by Google's built-in battery approach, but by the fact that the company has kept it secret for years. Jai said in an interview that Google has been using the design since 2005 and now is in its sixth or seventh generation of design.

Full Article Here


I know nothing about servers haha, but this sounds like quite the interesting server with it's own battery plus the other things ... what are your thoughts?




posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 07:52 AM
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My alarm clock has the same thing in case a storm takes the power out.

...woo...good job google.



posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 07:55 AM
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I'm not supprised by the back up medium, a battery, but by the voltage... 12 volts...these servers must be enormous energy efficient to run on that. I've installed back up power supply on my owns servers but it runs on 220



posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 08:07 AM
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reply to post by ambushrocks
 


yea i was thinking the same thing 12 volts? dang that's it? haha i was surprised ... the servers must really have to be pretty efficient to run off of those ...

[edit on 3-4-2009 by baseball101]



posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 08:10 AM
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Lol... well at least one company living up to their enviromental friendly words... so I guess it's good news. Hopefully they'll share the technique behind it.



posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 08:37 AM
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Originally posted by ambushrocks
I'm not supprised by the back up medium, a battery, but by the voltage... 12 volts...these servers must be enormous energy efficient to run on that. I've installed back up power supply on my owns servers but it runs on 220


this may be true, but if i'm not mistaken all the internal parts (hdd, cd-roms, motherboard, fans, etc) run on 12v. So while your backup is putting in 220v on one end, the end result is actually 12v to the components of your machine.

The batteries are probably extremely efficient. Or their using tesla/bedini/bearden technology to self power them.



posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 09:24 AM
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Originally posted by blackbirdish
The batteries are probably extremely efficient. Or their using tesla/bedini/bearden technology to self power them.


LMFAO!! That was my first thought when people started talking about how efficient the servers/batteries must be!


Wouldn't that just take the cake if Google has their backup batteries hooked up to a Bedini motor?



posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 09:29 AM
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reply to post by baseball101
 


A very cute April 1st joke. The photos are classic ... duct tape, cardboard and who knows what holding it all together.


Look at the date of the article for your first clue...


[edit on 3/4/2009 by deltaalphanovember]



posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 09:38 AM
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reply to post by deltaalphanovember
 


i don't see any duct tape and here's a link about Google's april fool's joke ...

and Since when did a technically sophisticated audience become fools?

"Ben Jai, who designed many of Google's servers, unveiled a modern Google server before the hungry eyes of a technically sophisticated audience. "

And if this is an April Fool's then why are there so many articles about it?



[edit on 3-4-2009 by baseball101]



posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 10:10 AM
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reply to post by baseball101
 


Fair enough, I could be wrong (it happens) which means the Joke's On Me


I must say, in my defense, doing some research on it, there was a fair amount of confusion about whether it was or was not a joke.



posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 10:19 AM
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reply to post by deltaalphanovember
 


no problem just wanted to clarify ...



posted on Apr, 3 2009 @ 02:39 PM
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That's actually a great idea if you can swing it.
I remember attending the NGDC conference a couple years ago and learning about their hosting facilities(or aspects of it).
In my case, we were hearing about their hard drive statistics having to do with failure rates over time and how they would deal with failed components etc. Here's a link to an arty about it at Engadget.
From what I gathered, if a server's drive failed they'd just replace the whole machine. I presume they'd follow this up by diagnosing and repairing whatever broke, but I'm not sure...might have shipped em back to their supplier to check over.

At any rate, back to the battery idea...
I used to work in a 35,000 square foot data center and have intimate experience dealing with power loss and recovery operations as well as UPS(uninterruptible power systems) maintenance.

Basically, what you have with datacenters is a huge, power-hungry building and consumes massive amounts of energy day and night.
When the power goes out for whatever reason, you typically have a system that handles the switchover to your backup power system which will usually be a generator system. To handle the period of time between the power loss and when the generators come online is typically taken by a battery system.

In our case, during the switchover phase, the lights and air conditioning systems would not be run by the battery system and would only come back online once the gen-set was fired up due to the excessive current draw. The cut-over was usually pretty swift, so it normally isn't a problem shutting down A/C for a minute to 90 seconds, but if the servers or any of the networking equipment were affected, the jig was up and there goes your five nines of up-time you promised your clients.

Google hosts so many machines, I am guessing this is just the most economical way to mitigate the power transition and take the load off the UPS that the machines would otherwise produce, allowing them to keep the A/C running...maybe even the lights.

It would be interesting to know how their power-loss mitigation plan operates and which equipment(if any) loses power during the cut-over phase.

[edit on 3-4-2009 by 4N6310]



posted on Apr, 4 2009 @ 03:17 AM
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I'm not surprised by the 12 volt backups either... but I am however very surprised to see them using shipping containers as server houses!

I always pictured them using a heavily cooled server room like everyone else.



posted on Apr, 4 2009 @ 03:25 AM
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The servers only require a 12 volt battery for back up?

Wow, Their servers must be ridiculously energy effiecient. I would have guessed something more around the area of 220.

Could 12 be a typo? If not, that is amazingly impressive, In my opinion, but then again, I am not very computer savy.



posted on Apr, 4 2009 @ 04:16 AM
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Originally posted by johnsky
I'm not surprised by the 12 volt backups either... but I am however very surprised to see them using shipping containers as server houses!

I always pictured them using a heavily cooled server room like everyone else.


Every thing looks real and with a custom made power supply/ups that it shows in the link i would find it a very good system.

I would love to be able to buy there combo power supply/ups.
i could sell a lot of them.

Shipping containers yes they make refrigerated shipping containers that would keep things cold even servers.
Some are set up where if you lose prime power the shipping container has a built-in generator system that takes over.
acutemp.com...
www.iport.com...



posted on Apr, 4 2009 @ 12:17 PM
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Argh, Come on, People. Computers, at the board side, run on 12 and 5 volts. They generally take in 120v of AC at the power supply, then convert it to 5v and 12 volts to supply the various components.

Most cmos logical gates only run on 5 volts. Any higher is too high.

What matters here is internal impedance. Just knowing it's 12 volts isn't really much information. VOLTAGE IS NOT A MEASUREMENT OF POWER. The power the battery can supply is dependent on it's internal impedance. Your car's starter runs on 12 volts, but you'd never get it started with 8 AAA batteries in series. They have a much larger internal impedance than a big lead-acid 12v battery.

Computers use a fairly hefty amount of power, but remember that laptops are computers and they run off a tiny 12v battery. I assume the servers just run on a somewhat bigger 12v battery.

EDIT: in emergencies.

[edit on 4-4-2009 by mdiinican]



posted on Apr, 4 2009 @ 03:00 PM
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Nothing in that picture says to me that the machine would draw more current than a battery that size could supply(can't even tell how deep the cell is).
My brushless R/C trucks running on 22.2 volts can draw about 120 amps or more in a sprint, but the lithium polymer batteries I used are more than up to the task(they don't even get warm compared to the famously exploding and genital searing lithium ion batteries in some laptops *cough*). I am not sure how lipo compares to lion batteries that they use in laptops, but I do know that life(A123) batteries that are commonly found in rechargable tool batteries(18v) are a bit more robust, but I have only seen them in the 3 volt cylinder type of packaging.

At any rate, the mobile datacenters have been around for at least 2 years now. Very scalable and completely self-sufficient.
I don't see why you couldn't have one up and running, serving content while simultaneously being transported so long as they have an internet up-link sufficient to handle the bandwidth and a gen-set running...military style.


I've seen some pretty impressive fail-over technology that might change many people's perception of just hot tumultuous physical hosting situations can be without so much as raising the eyebrow of the average web surfer.

I don't look at shipping containers the same anymore.



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 06:02 AM
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All computers (pretty much) are capable of running from 12V. As others have said the power supply in your computer converts your 220/110VAC down to 12VDC/5VDC/3.3VDC anyway, so if you bypass the original power supply and supply the other voltages, there isn't a problem running from a 12V battery.

reply to post by deltaalphanovember
 


LOL yeh my first thought was it can't be real, I was imagining a big server room or something from reading the thread title. And that picture does look a bit dodgy. Still not sure whether it's real or not.

[edit on 8/4/09 by GobbledokTChipeater]



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 12:48 PM
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reply to post by johnsky
 


Using shipping containers for servers is not that odd. You can even buy pre-configured ones from companies like HP:

Video

HP POD



posted on Apr, 8 2009 @ 03:14 PM
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How can they call themselves server admins when they don't know what's inside their own servers?
They obviously have never had to install any new hardware much less install additional RAM or replace hard drives.
This tells me they do everything remotely and never physically work on the boxes.
Who knows what else is inside those servers that they don't know about?

Probably some snooping device care of the NSA.

[edit on 8-4-2009 by Alxandro]



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