The Datacenter as a Computer: An Introduction to the Design of Warehouse-Scale Machines, Edition 2

Morgan & Claypool Publishers
9

ABSTRACT As computation continues to move into the cloud, the computing platform of interest no longer resembles a pizza box or a refrigerator, but a warehouse full of computers. These new large datacenters are quite different from traditional hosting facilities of earlier times and cannot be viewed simply as a collection of co-located servers. Large portions of the hardware and software resources in these facilities must work in concert to efficiently deliver good levels of Internet service performance, something that can only be achieved by a holistic approach to their design and deployment. In other words, we must treat the datacenter itself as one massive warehouse-scale computer (WSC). We describe the architecture of WSCs, the main factors influencing their design, operation, and cost structure, and the characteristics of their software base. We hope it will be useful to architects and programmers of today’s WSCs, as well as those of future many-core platforms which may one day implement the equivalent of today’s WSCs on a single board. NOTES FOR THE SECOND EDITION After nearly four years of substantial academic and industrial developments in warehouse-scale computing, we are delighted to present our first major update to this lecture. The increased popularity of public clouds has made WSC software techniques relevant to a larger pool of programmers since our first edition. Therefore, we expanded Chapter 2 to reflect our better understanding of WSC software systems and the toolbox of software techniques for WSC programming. In Chapter 3, we added to our coverage of the evolving landscape of wimpy vs. brawny server trade-offs, and we now present an overview of WSC interconnects and storage systems that was promised but lacking in the original edition. Thanks largely to the help of our new co-author, Google Distinguished Engineer Jimmy Clidaras, the material on facility mechanical and power distribution design has been updated and greatly extended (see Chapters 4 and 5). Chapters 6 and 7 have also been revamped significantly. We hope this revised edition continues to meet the needs of educators and professionals in this area.
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About the author

Luiz Andre Barroso has worked across several engineering areas including software infrastructure, storage availability, energy efficiency, and hardware design. He was the first manager of Google's Platforms Engineering team, the group responsible for designing the company's computing platform. Prior to Google, he was a member of the research staff at Digital Equipment Corporation (later acquired by Compaq), where his group did some of the pioneering work on processor and memory system design for commercial workloads. That research led to the design of Piranha, a single-chip multiprocessor that helped inspire some of the multicore CPUs that are now in the mainstream. He has lectured at Pontificia Universidade Catolica (PUC)-Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and Stanford University, holds a Ph.D. in computer engineering from the University of Southern California and B.S/M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from the PUC, Rio de Janeiro. Luiz is a Google Fellow, a Fellow of the ACM and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Jimmy Clidaras led Google's datacenter engineering program through multiple generations starting in 2004, with a special emphasis on energy- and cost-efficient design. He was the first director of Google's Platforms Infrastructure Engineering team, responsible for power, cooling, embedded software, and datacenter R&D engineering. Jimmy's original background is in aerospace engineering, having worked at Harris Corporation and E-Systems, where he developed space-flight hardware for communication and research satellites. He holds degrees in audio engineering ('84) and mechanical engineering ('94, Florida Atlantic University). He is currently a Distinguished Datacenter Engineer at Google and a Distinguished Alumnus of FAU. He remains engaged in datacenter research activities, continuing the search for disruptive technologies.

Urs Hölzle served as Google's first vice president of engineering and leads the development of Google's technical infrastructure. His current responsibilities include the design and operation of the servers, networks, datacenters, and software infrastructure that power Google. He is also renowned for both his red socks and his free-range Leonberger, Yoshka (Google's original top dog). Urs grew up in Switzerland and received a master's degree in computer science from ETH Zürich and, as a Fulbright scholar, a Ph.D. from Stanford. While at Stanford (and then a start-up later acquired by Sun Microsystems) he invented fundamental techniques used in most of today's leading Java compilers. Before joining Google he was a professor of computer science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is a Fellow of the ACM, a member of the Swiss Academy of Technical Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, and serves on the board of the US World Wildlife Fund as well as the Open Networking Foundation.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Morgan & Claypool Publishers
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Published on
Jul 1, 2013
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Pages
154
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ISBN
9781627050104
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Computers / Computer Engineering
Computers / Databases / General
Computers / Systems Architecture / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Luiz André Barroso
As computation continues to move into the cloud, the computing platform of interest no longer resembles a pizza box or a refrigerator, but a warehouse full of computers. These new large datacenters are quite different from traditional hosting facilities of earlier times and cannot be viewed simply as a collection of co-located servers. Large portions of the hardware and software resources in these facilities must work in concert to efficiently deliver good levels of Internet service performance, something that can only be achieved by a holistic approach to their design and deployment. In other words, we must treat the datacenter itself as one massive warehouse-scale computer (WSC). We describe the architecture of WSCs, the main factors influencing their design, operation, and cost structure, and the characteristics of their software base. We hope it will be useful to architects and programmers of today’s WSCs, as well as those of future many-core platforms which may one day implement the equivalent of today’s WSCs on a single board.

Notes for the Second Edition

After nearly four years of substantial academic and industrial developments in warehouse-scale computing, we are delighted to present our first major update to this lecture. The increased popularity of public clouds has made WSC software techniques relevant to a larger pool of programmers since our first edition. Therefore, we expanded Chapter 2 to reflect our better understanding of WSC software systems and the toolbox of software techniques for WSC programming. In Chapter 3, we added to our coverage of the evolving landscape of wimpy vs. brawny server trade-offs, and we now present an overview of WSC interconnects and storage systems that was promised but lacking in the original edition. Thanks largely to the help of our new co-author, Google Distinguished Engineer Jimmy Clidaras, the material on facility mechanical and power distribution design has been updated and greatly extended (see Chapters 4 and 5). Chapters 6 and 7 have also been revamped significantly. We hope this revised edition continues to meet the needs of educators and professionals in this area.

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