Will Google affect the future of server-based computing?

I've been reading a lot about Google and their technology over the past few years. One thing is becoming increasingly clear: This whole "Google" thing is about much more than search, and I think they are going to become increasingly relevant in the server-based computing space.

I've been reading a lot about Google and their technology over the past few years. One thing is becoming increasingly clear: This whole "Google" thing is about much more than search, and I think they are going to become increasingly relevant in the server-based computing space.

Many visionaries have predicted that computing in the future will be "grid"-based, where we just connect our endpoint into some ubiquitous computing environment. (I mentioned this briefly this last July.) In a sense this would be the ultimate server-based computing environment. Not only would we be able to access our stuff from anywhere and any device, but we would have virtually limitless storage and computing power available to us on the back end.

Enter Google.

Google's server environment is made up of more than 100,000 individual servers. People have speculated that it includes a distributed fault tolerant filesystem exceeded one petabyte (1000 terabyte) in size. It also most likely has distributed RPC code, network shared memory and process migration. As Jason Kotke pointed out, this is basically a giant supercomputer that doesn't crash.

He also pointed out that this might mean that Google could create an environment where users are able to run actual applications from this grid. Users could have an office application that could be used from anywhere with their own private storage in Google's grid that was always available. Google could facilitate an environment where you wouldn't need your own computer to be productive. They could take the key operating system away from the client device, essentially meaning that all anyone would need would be a thin client.

Of course all this isn't really relevant right now, but I bet it won't take too long (five years?) to start seeing some of these basic ideas implemented. This is yet another reason I'm excited to be in this field...

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This message was originally posted by Jim Kenzig http://thin.net on November 22, 2004
I tend to agree. Look at all the "beta" products google has recently released.
They are dabbling in a lot of things beyond just web search.

Google Gmail beta offers gigabytes of storage and shook up the webmail industry. Yahoo and MSN had to quickly follow suit and give users more storage just to match a beta product. This did however disenfranchise their "premium" users who previously paid like $30 to get 50 meg of storage only to watch as they gave a gig of storage away for free.

The recent beta of Google Scholar is a cool thing also.
See
http://www.resourceshelf.com/2004/11/wow-its-google-scholar.html
http://scholar.google.com/scholar/about.html

Google isn't saying how they are choosing sites for this venture but it is very cool for the researcher.

Google is also indexing as many literary works and books as it can and making them searchable. Not to mention they are tapping into Public library catalogs and making them available under search. Working for a library I have mixed feelings about this. It could put a lot of us out of a job.

While they haven't used the term (Yahoo has) this is the epitome of a "Portal"
Someplace you can go to ACCESS all of your information in one place...anytime, anywhere from any device. Sound familiar? Accessing applications can't be too far off and Google does have the resources to do it.

JK
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This message was originally posted by Brian Madden on November 22, 2004
Wow! How's that for timing? I would like to point out that my timestamp came first. :) But that's a great article though...
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This message was originally posted by Jim Kenzig http://thin.net on November 23, 2004
I picked this one up off of Servergeek, it is a Drive shell extension for Google GMAIL. It creates a virtual filesystem around your GMAIL account and enables you to retrieve files stored in your GMAIL account directly from Windows Explorer.
<BR>
http://www.viksoe.dk/code/gmail.htm
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This message was originally posted by Jim Kenzig http: <a href="http: Google Muscles Into Microsoft's Turf ...talk about coincidence Brian?
JK
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