Dec 23, 2011

The First Google Storage Was Built With Legos

It's been a few months since I wrote about my redundant storage solution that I dubbed the Bauer-Power SAN. If you didn't read that post, I give you instructions on how I made a 20TB SAN using Ubuntu, IET, ZFS, and GlusterFS. Without tooting my own horn, I thought that solution was pretty bad ass. That is until I saw the following.

Now, what we have here is not 20TB of storage. In fact, it's way less than that. It's only 40GB of storage made up of 10 4GB hard drives. It's not the size of the storage that makes it cool though. It's not even the fact that it's made with friggin' Legos (Although that is on a whole other level of bad-assness)! The cool thing about it is this is the original back end storage for Google. As in, rules the entire world, and has information on everybody Google.

If you have a hard time reading the picture, it says this about the Lego cabinet built in 1996:

In 1996 Larry Page and Sergey Brin, then PhD students in Standford CSD, working on the Digital Library Project, needed a large amount of diskspace to test their Pagerank algorythm on actual world-wide-web data. At that time 4 GigaByte hard disk were the largest available, so they assembed 10 of these drives into a low cost cabinet.

Check it out:

Google Lego Cabinet


Google Lego Cabinet

Google Lego Cabinet

Google Lego Cabinet

To me it's absolutely amazing that they went from 40GB of storage using Legos to huge warehouses full of conex containers filled with servers. If you haven't seen what their storage and server facilities look like now, here is a video from Youtube of their container data center:

What do you think of the Lego storage server? Awesome? Meh? Let me know in the comments! Oh, and don't forget to pick up your "Have you tried Googling it?" t-shirt from Bauer-Power Gear!

Have you tried googling it t-shirt

[Via Stanford Infolab] tags:      


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