I love this machine. It speaks to me on so many different levels. While the server vendors have been building slimmer-but-longer 1U servers, Google has literally broken the mold, and built a server with the entire datacenter in mind, not just the rack. Instead of fighting a fruitless war for density by going longer, Google looked at the problem as a whole and came up with an ingenious solution. I applaud them. I especially applaud them from my position of having to deal with the rest of the industry’s complete backassery in their approach to the same problem, which as I have said publicly many times, has failed.
Note the low-cost components. Note the lack of a case, which only adds weight and complicates cooling. Note the lack of hardware. This server has components held together by Velcro strips. It has a built-in 12V battery backup. It has a very compact motherboard. It’s width means that it can fit 2 side-by-side in a standard 19″ rack, and its height means they can fit, I’m guessing between 28 and 32 of them per standard 42U rack. But given that they can squeeze the rows of racks MUCH closer together than in a same sized facility equipped with 36″-42″ deep cabinets this means the number of servers per facility increases by around one third to half again as dense. In fact, the larger the datacenter, the greater the delta in density scales towards this form-factor. From the one Google datacenter I’ve seen, they are large facilities.
Well done Google. My hat’s off to you.