GooOS.org

GooOS - Google Operating System - Library

News:
Blog your comments about this site: http://gooos.blogspot.com
1. GooOS 07.04.2004 Posted by intern.de: http://www.intern.de/news/5487.html
2. The Secret Source of Google's Power Posted by skrenta at April 4, 2004 02:11 PM | TrackBack http://blog.topix.net/archives/000016.html
3. GooOS, the Google Operating System posted April 06, 2004 at 12:10 am ET http://www.kottke.org/04/04/google-operating-system



GooOS
07.04.2004 

Die ständig neuen Produktideen in Verbindung mit der an Geheimnistuerei grenzenden Verschwiegenheit Googles sind ein idealer Nährboden für Gerüchte und Spekulationen. Einige Blog-Einträge der letzten Tage lassen aber das Niveau langweiliger SEO-Spekulationen (Search Engine Optimization hinter sich und skizzieren ein Unternehmen, das weit mehr als nur die Suche im Sinn hat.

Wie Rich Skrenta es darstellt, zielen die Google-Konkurrenten derzeit auf die einzelnen Anwendungen Googles ab. Microsoft will eine Suchmaschine entwickeln, die Google in den Schatten stellt. Und Yahoo kopiert fast sklavisch jede Idee, die auf Google zurückgeht.

Derweil ist Google aber weit mehr als nur ein Verbund von Web-, Bilder-, Einkaufs-, Bücher- , oder Usenet-Suchmaschine, der gleichzeitig die Vermarktung von Web Sites übernimmt und neuerdings auch die Individualkommunikation der Anwender neu organisieren und ausschlachten will.

Das alles ist nur möglich, weil Google etwas ganz Neues, Großes aufgebaut hat: Einen riesigen, aus über 100.000 PCs bestehenden Rechner, der mit einem selbst entwickelten Betriebssystem betrieben wird, dem - wie Jason Kottke es nennt - Google Operating System GooOS. Ein System, das nicht nur effizient arbeitet, für jeden Zweck nutzbar ist und jeden Monat schneller wird. Es ist auch noch kostengünstiger, weil es mit Standard-Komponenten betrieben wird.

Diese Plattform beinhaltet ein Potential, das selbst Microsoft gefährlich werden könnte. Kottke wird in diesem Punkt konkret: Was, wenn Google auf Basis von Linux und Gnome ein System für Desktop-Rechner entwickelt, das mit dem GooOS kooperiert und 10 Dollar pro Arbeitsplatz kostet?

Dieses System könnte alle Office-Funktionen integrieren, würde selbsttätig aktualisiert und für alle lokal gespeicherten Daten ein externes Backup bieten. Es würde somit den Anwender vor lästigen Problemen beim Hardware-Umstieg schützen und ganz nebenbei der Team-Arbeit neue Perspektiven eröffnen. Und das System würde sich individuell auf seinen Nutzer ausrichten. Denn es kennt nicht nur seine Arbeit, sondern auch seine Einkaufsgewohnheiten und sein - unter anderem aus den Mails extrahiertes - Privatleben sowie seine sozialen Kontakte (Orkut). GooOS ist nicht nur ein Backup des Anwenderrechners. Es ist auch ein Backup des Anwenders selbst und damit Grundlage einer "echten" virtuellen Realität.

Diese Vorstellungen, die vor allem von Kottke noch weiter ausgeführt werden, sind faszinierend und erschreckend zugleich. Vor allem aber scheinen sie nicht einer gewissen Grundlage zu entbehren.

Der Aufstieg Googles in den letzten Jahren ist alleine schon beachtlich. Vor allem, weil er nicht in den Boom-Jahren erfolgte, sondern im Gegenteil dem Abwärtstrend der Branche trotzen musste. Inzwischen ist Google nicht nur Marktführer unter den Suchmaschinen, sondern vermutlich gleichzeitig der größte Werbeanbieter des Internet.

Immer wieder testet Google neue Anwendungen als Beta-Versionen. Viele davon werden nach einer erstaunlich langen Test-Phase (1 Jahr) integriert. Erstaunlich ist auch, wie Google seinen Mitarbeiterstamm aufbaut und behandelt. Vor allem scheint weiterhin alles auf Expansion ausgerichtet. Jeder Mitarbeiter muss beispielsweise ein Fünftel seiner Zeit für Job-Interviews opfern, also für Neustellungen. Ein weiteres Füntel bleibt für eigene Projekte. Neue Projekte, die Google wieder ausweiten.

Die Medienberichte über die drohende Konkurrenz durch Yahoo und Microsoft, oder den bevorstehenden Börsengang scheinen da schon fast das Thema zu verfehlen, sich an Randthemen festzubeißen.

Google muss keine weitere Suchmaschine fürchten, denn die Web-Suche ist inzwischen nicht mehr zentrales Interesse. Den Börsengang kann Google als Option beibehalten, ist aber keineswegs darauf angewiesen. Keiner der klassischen Gründe für ein IPO sind bei Google zu finden. Liquidität ist beispielsweise kein Thema, denn die Geschwindigkeit, mit der Google nicht nur seine Funktionen, sondern auch seine Umsätze erhöht, ist enorm.

Rückschläge sind allenfalls darin zu sehen, wenn Google wie bei GMail auf Anwenderbedenken stößt. Doch die Loyalität der Google-Nutzer ist beachtlich und wenn Google seinen Vertrauensvorschuss nicht vergeudet, wird auch GMail bald eine der unvermeidbaren Funktionen des Google-Internet.

Kottke wagt daher eine klare Prognose: Google wird in fünf bis acht Jahren das größte und wichtigste Unternehmen der Welt. Google ist für ihn auch das interessanteste Unternehmen weltweit und er ist optimistisch, was das Potential und den weiteren Erfolg Googles angeht. Allerdings ist er auch besorgt über die Aussicht, Google bald für absolut alles zu benutzen: "Ich werde das Google Monopol in fünf Jahren verfluchen". Aber er wird wie andere heute fasziniert zusehen, wie es entsteht.

Quelle: http://www.intern.de/news/5487.html



The Secret Source of Google's Power
Much is being written about Gmail, Google's new free webmail system. There's something deeper to learn about Google from this product than the initial reaction to the product features, however. Ignore for a moment the observations about Google leapfrogging their competitors with more user value and a new feature or two. Or Google diversifying away from search into other applications; they've been doing that for a while. Or the privacy red herring. 
No, the story is about seemingly incremental features that are actually massively expensive for others to match, and the platform that Google is building which makes it cheaper and easier for them to develop and run web-scale applications than anyone else. 

I've written before about Google's snippet service, which required that they store the entire web in RAM. All so they could generate a slightly better page excerpt than other search engines. 

Google has taken the last 10 years of systems software research out of university labs, and built their own proprietary, production quality system. What is this platform that Google is building? It's a distributed computing platform that can manage web-scale datasets on 100,000 node server clusters. It includes a petabyte, distributed, fault tolerant filesystem, distributed RPC code, probably network shared memory and process migration. And a datacenter management system which lets a handful of ops engineers effectively run 100,000 servers. Any of these projects could be the sole focus of a startup. 



Speculation: Gmail's Architecture and Economics
Let's make some guesses about how one might build a Gmail. 

Hotmail has 60 million users. Gmail's design should be comparable, and should scale to 100 million users. It will only have to support a couple of million in the first year though. 

The most obvious challenge is the storage. You can't lose people's email, and you don't want to ever be down, so data has to be replicated. RAID is no good; when a disk fails, a human needs to replace the bad disk, or there is risk of data loss if more disks fail. One imagines the old ENIAC technician running up and down the isles of Google's data center with a shopping cart full of spare disk drives instead of vacuum tubes. RAID also requires more expensive hardware -- at least the hot swap drive trays. And RAID doesn't handle high availability at the server level anyway. 

No. Google has 100,000 servers. [nytimes] If a server/disk dies, they leave it dead in the rack, to be reclaimed/replaced later. Hardware failures need to be instantly routed around by software. 

Google has built their own distributed, fault-tolerant, petabyte filesystem, the Google Filesystem. This is ideal for the job. Say GFS replicates user email in three places; if a disk or a server dies, GFS can automatically make a new copy from one of the remaining two. Compress the email for a 3:1 storage win, then store user's email in three locations, and their raw storage need is approximately equivalent to the user's mail size. 

The Gmail servers wouldn't be top-heavy with lots of disk. They need the CPU for indexing and page view serving anyway. No fancy RAID card or hot-swap trays, just 1-2 disks per 1U server. 

It's straightforward to spreadsheet out the economics of the service, taking into account average storage per user, cost of the servers, and monetization per user per year. Google apparently puts the operational cost of storage at $2 per gigabyte. My napkin math comes up with numbers in the same ballpark. I would assume the yearly monetized value of a webmail user to be in the $1-10 range. 


Cheap Hardware
Here's an anecdote to illustrate how far Google's cultural approach to hardware cost is different from the norm, and what it means as a component of their competitive advantage. 

In a previous job I specified 40 moderately-priced servers to run a new internet search site we were developing. The ops team overrode me; they wanted 6 more expensive servers, since they said it would be easier to manage 6 machines than 40. 

What this does is raise the cost of a CPU second. We had engineers that could imagine algorithms that would give marginally better search results, but if the algorithm was 10 times slower than the current code, ops would have to add 10X the number of machines to the datacenter. If you've already got $20 million invested in a modest collection of Suns, going 10X to run some fancier code is not an option. 

Google has 100,000 servers. 

Any sane ops person would rather go with a fancy $5000 server than a bare $500 motherboard plus disks sitting exposed on a tray. But that's a 10X difference to the cost of a CPU cycle. And this frees up the algorithm designers to invent better stuff. 

Without cheap CPU cycles, the coders won't even consider algorithms that the Google guys are deploying. They're just too expensive to run. 

Google doesn't deploy bare motherboards on exposed trays anymore; they're on at least the fourth iteration of their cheap hardware platform. Google now has an institutional competence building and maintaining servers that cost a lot less than the servers everyone else is using. And they do it with fewer people. 

Think of the little internal factory they must have to deploy servers, and the level of automation needed to run that many boxes. Either network boot or a production line to pre-install disk images. Servers that self-configure on boot to determine their network config and load the latest rev of the software they'll be running. Normal datacenter ops practices don't scale to what Google has. 

What are all those OS Researchers doing at Google?
Rob Pike has gone to Google. Yes, that Rob Pike -- the OS researcher, the member of the original Unix team from Bell Labs. This guy isn't just some labs hood ornament; he writes code, lots of it. Big chunks of whole new operating systems like Plan 9. 

Look at the depth of the research background of the Google employees in OS, networking, and distributed systems. Compiler Optimization. Thread migration. Distributed shared memory. 

I'm a sucker for cool OS research. Browsing papers from Google employees about distributed systems, thread migration, network shared memory, GFS, makes me feel like a kid in Tomorrowland wondering when we're going to Mars. Wouldn't it be great, as an engineer, to have production versions of all this great research. 

Google engineers do! 


Competitive Advantage
Google is a company that has built a single very large, custom computer. It's running their own cluster operating system. They make their big computer even bigger and faster each month, while lowering the cost of CPU cycles. It's looking more like a general purpose platform than a cluster optimized for a single application. 

While competitors are targeting the individual applications Google has deployed, Google is building a massive, general purpose computing platform for web-scale programming. 

This computer is running the world's top search engine, a social networking service, a shopping price comparison engine, a new email service, and a local search/yellow pages engine. What will they do next with the world's biggest computer and most advanced operating system? 

Posted by skrenta at April 4, 2004 02:11 PM | TrackBack http://blog.topix.net/archives/000016.html





GooOS, the Google Operating System
posted April 06, 2004 at 12:10 am ET
Great post about what Google is up to by Rich Skrenta. He argues that Google is building a huge computer with a custom operating system that everyone on earth can have an account on. His last few paragraphs are so much more perceptive than anything that's been written about Google by anyone; Skrenta nails the company exactly:

Google is a company that has built a single very large, custom computer. It's running their own cluster operating system. They make their big computer even bigger and faster each month, while lowering the cost of CPU cycles. It's looking more like a general purpose platform than a cluster optimized for a single application.

While competitors are targeting the individual applications Google has deployed, Google is building a massive, general purpose computing platform for web-scale programming.

This computer is running the world's top search engine, a social networking service, a shopping price comparison engine, a new email service, and a local search/yellow pages engine. What will they do next with the world's biggest computer and most advanced operating system?
I was thrilled reading this today because I had been thinking along the same lines as I wondered about Gmail (and the 1GB of storage in particular)...and that Skrenta had made the argument so well. This weekend, as I hacked through a bunch of XHTML and CSS for an upcoming site redesign, I jotted down a few notes for a follow-up on a post I made over a year ago called Google is not a search company. I was going to call it "GooOS, the Google Operating System".

My notes contained two of Skrenta's main points: the importance of the supercomputer and the scores of Ph.Ds being Google's main assets. A third key asset for Google is the data that they're storing on those 100,000 computers. As I said in that post:

Google's money won't be made with search...that's small peanuts compared to selling access to the world's biggest, best, and most cleverly-utilized map of the web.
So. They have this huge map of the Web and are aware of how people move around in the virtual space it represents. They have the perfect place to store this map (one of the world's largest computers that's all but incapable of crashing). And they are clever at reading this map. Google knows what people write about, what they search for, what they shop for, they know who wants to advertise and how effective those advertisements are, and they're about to know how we communicate with friends and loved ones. What can they do with all that? Just about anything that collection of Ph.Ds can dream up.

Tim O'Reilly has talked about various bits from the Web morphing into "the emergent Internet operating system"; the small pieces loosely joining, if you will. Google seems to be heading there already, all by themselves. By building and then joining a bunch of the small pieces by themselves, Google can take full advantage of the economies of scale and avoid the difficulties of interop.

Google isn't worried about Yahoo! or Microsoft's search efforts...although the media's focus on that is probably to their advantage. Their real target is Windows. Who needs Windows when anyone can have free unlimited access to the world's fastest computer running the smartest operating system? Mobile devices don't need big, bloated OSes...they'll be perfect platforms for accessing the GooOS. Using Gnome and Linux as a starting point, Google should design an OS for desktop computers that's modified to use the GooOS and sell it right alongside Windows ($200) at CompUSA for $10/apiece (available free online of course). Google Office (Goffice?) will be built in, with all your data stored locally, backed up remotely, and available to whomever it needs to be (SubEthaEdit-style collaboration on Word/Excel/PowerPoint-esque documents is only the beginning). Email, shopping, games, music, news, personal publishing, etc.; all the stuff that people use their computers for, it's all there.

Even though everyone's down on Google these days, they remain the most interesting company in the world and I'm optimistic about their potential and success (while also apprehensive about the prospect of using Google for absolutely everything someday...I'll be cursing the Google monopoly in 5 years time). If they stay on target with their plans to leverage their three core assets (which, if Gmail is any indication, they will), I predict Google will be the biggest and most important company in the world in 5-8 years.

http://www.kottke.org/04/04/google-operating-system


News please send to:
Contact: mail@gooos.org



You are free to set a link to this site:
GooOS Newspage about GooOS - The Google Operating System
Copy and Paste the following line:
<p><a href="http://www.gooos.org/">GooOS</a>Newspage about GooOS - The Google Operating System</p>


Other Google Services:
| Google Searchengine | Google Adwords | Google Adsense |
| Google Analytics | Googlemail | Personalized Google homepage |


Encyclopedia Wiki Allround Encyclopedia Knowledge

Zeitschriftenabo