in Photography

How Did The Original Google Server Looked Like

Today Google is a giant, it`s server farm has more than 500.000 servers but  this sheer size  makes it very interesting to look back at its humble beginnings as a small research project called Backrub at Stanford University.

  • 2-proc Pentium II 300mhz, 512mb, five 9gb drives
  • 2-proc Pentium II 300mhz, 512mb, four 9gb drives
  • 4-proc PPC 604 333mhz, 512mb, eight 9gb drives
  • 2-proc UltraSparc II 200mhz, 256mb, three 9gb drives, six 4gb drives
  • Disk expansion, eight 9gb drives
  • Disk expansion, ten 9gb drives

That’s a total of:

  • 1792 megabytes of memory
  • 366 gigabytes of disk storage
  • 2933 megahertz in 10 CPUs

These are both 300 MHz Dual Pentium II Servers with 512MB of RAM. There are 9 9G drives between the two machines. The main search used to run on them. These were donated by Intel.

This is an IBM donated F50 IBM RS6000 with 4 processors and 512MB of memory. It has 8 9G drives internal.

The left box has 3 9G drives, and there are 6 4G drives on the right (the original storage for Backrub). These are attached to our Sun Ultra II.

This IBM disk expansion box has another 8 9G drives. This was donated by IBM.

This is their faithful Sun Ultra II with dual 200MHz processors, and 256MB of RAM. This was the main machine for the original Backrub system.

This is their homemade disk box which contains 10 9G SCSI drives. Also see the picture below:

The wiring job could be better…

The whole thing. Now which keyboard do you use?

This is google.

BONUS: Today`s google server design.


Bogdan is the founder of Top Design Magazine. You can find him in Bucharest-Romania so next time you want to drink a beer there and talk about web and stuff, give him a message.