We all probably do it at least once or twice a day — Googling something. As we get near instant results we probably aren't giving too much thought as to what powers the all-knowing search engine. For the first time, Google has opened the doors to their various data centers so we can take a peek inside. It's all part of their new website 'Where the Internet Lives,' a project showing the people and colorful guts behind its services.
Computers are fast. What isn't as fast is miles and miles of wiring, and when you've got a huge data center with hundred or thousands of computers all trying to talk to each other, it's usually the connections between them that's the slowest part of the system. Solution? Go wireless, and bounce it off the ceiling instead.
It's a bold statement to be sure, but Google is making it in the company's first public disclosure of its total energy use: the company has had a carbon footprint of zero for well on four years now. That's even more impressive when you consider that Google needs a quarter of a nuclear power plant to keep all of its searches and gmails and whatnot going.
"Cloud computing is hot, literally." So says a new report from Microsoft Research, which suggests that it might make a lot of sense for us all to install big cloud servers in our basements and use them to provide central heating and hot water. Behold, the Data Furnace.