A recent look back at the ‘cage’, Google’s first ever data centre

We reckon that, if you have spent time perusing data centre products available through the Data Centre Shop website, you are likely to have been impressed by what you saw. Indeed, data centre technology has advanced hugely since the late 1990s – and you can get a more accurate perception of just how much it has advanced when you consider the look back of Google’s eighth employee, Urs Hölzle…, at the search giant’s first ever data centre. It was in a Google+ post that Hölzle recently revealed his experiences of seeing the facility for the first time in 1999.

An enlightening recalling of a young Google

Hölzle, now the company’s senior vice president of technical infrastructures, was not yet even an employee of the company when he first saw the data centre that he referred to in the Google+ post as “the first Google cage”. He saw the facility as part of a meeting with the company’s co-founder Larry Page. The data centre, which was located in Santa Clara, California but has since been shut down, was one of Silicon Valley’s first co-location facilities and, as Hölzle has described it, “was tiny and filled with about 30 PCs on shelves”.

His descriptions of the ‘cage’ make it seem a far cry from modern Google data centres, which typically include many rows of advanced computers and flashing lights. Indeed, it was pretty small even compared to Google’s second cage, which it had by 1998, was about three times the size and contained Google’s first four racks that each held 21 machines. Hölzle recalled that, in the first cage, “a1 through a24 were the main servers to build and serve the index and c1 through c4 were the crawl machines”.

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We at Data Centre Shop stock a good variety of data centre products that are suitable for use in modern data centres. Our experienced and knowledgeable staff know that this is crucial given how dramatically technology advances in the data centre industry; furthermore, they can help you to choose especially suitable data centre products for your needs.

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