Google Surpasses Supercomputer Community, Unnoticed?

One of the rules of the TOP500 list is that a ranked system has to be at a single facility. In today’s world of networked computing, it seems to me that this notion has become antiquated, especially after reading this article by Brough Turner:
“Today, Google has perhaps 20 to 100 petaFLOPs of processing power in their distributed computing system. In mid-2006, the New York Times estimated Google had 450,000 interconnected servers in their various server farms. Their capital budget continues to expand, they continue to hirer (including for very super-computer specific jobs) and they are building a global fiber optic network to better connect their distributed server farms, so it’s reasonable to assume Google has well over 500,000 servers on-line today. None of these machines is more than 3 years old with an average age nearer 15 months based on the economics described in the 2003 paper. A new server for late 2007 and early 2008 has dual quad-core Xeon processors at 2.5 GHz or 3 GHz. Intel claims the quad-core Xeon provides 77-81 gigaFLOPS and today’s servers have two such processors, i.e. 160 GFLOPS. Let’s discount that for Intel hype and the fact that the average Google server is whatever commercial machines of 1/2007 could do — say 100 GFLOPS. And lets assume they haven’t added new buildings and new servers and have only 500,000 machines in their cluster. That’s still 50 petaFLOPS.” Full Story


About Rich
FlexRex began his life as a cartoon character I created a Sun Microsystems. As the world's first "fictional blogger," he appeared in numerous parody films that made fun of the whole work-from-home thing. Somewhere along the line, the Sun IT department adopted FlexRex as their spokesman in a half-dozen security awareness films for employees. So when I left Sun recently, I started FlexRex Communications, a Marketing company in Portland, Oregon.

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