The fastest supercomputer. The most intriguing data center. The constantly changing core[kernel] at the heart of Linux. The Google Data Center. Take a tour of the most impressive and most unusual marvels of the IT world:
World’s Most Intriguing Data Center: Google
Location: The Dalles, Oregon, on the banks of the Columbia River, 80 miles east of Portland.
Main attractions: Hydroelectric dam for power, two four-story cooling towers.
B.G. (Before Google): Pioneers knew The Dalles as the end of the Oregon trail.
Jobs inside the data center to date: Between 100 and 200. Google won’t specify.
Code name: Called Project 02 by the locals.
Wired by: A fiber optic artery looped through the surrounding wilderness.
Secrecy level: High. Two reporters from the local newspaper are the only media who’ve been inside the compound and written about it (See “Inside the World of Google”): Google treats any and all details as though they belong to the National Security Agency.
Size: 30-acre site.
Number of servers: Google’s mum. It has an estimated 500,000 around the world, spread across 25 locations.
Storage: Across all its data centers, Google stores an estimated 200 petabytes.
Top searches inside the compound: We’d bet it’s a tie between “Britney Spears” and “Web 2.0.”
Biggest Paradigm Change in Enterprise Software: Linux kernel
Created by: Linus Torvalds, in 1991, helping open-source developers collectively craft a viable alternative to Microsoft operating systems.
Number of developers: Total since 1991 is unknown; 3,200 developers for the kernel as of release 2.6.22.
New releases: Every 2.6 months.*
Quick change artists: 2.89 changes made to the kernel every hour.
Lines of code: 8.2 million and growing (about 10 percent per year).
Amount of code added every hour: 85.63 lines.
Revenue diverted from Microsoft: Perhaps only Mr. Gates knows.
*Unless otherwise marked, statistics reflect Linux kernel releases of the past 2.5 years (version 2.6.11 through 2.6.21).