Let's say you're with a company that analyzes thousands of terabytes as part of its business. You can either build a giant data farm to sift all of the data, or you can, well, all you can really do is build a server farm. Google hopes to help those kind of companies with their data analysis by offering up their servers as an alternative.
BigQuery, according to the Google Developers page, is a "Web service that lets you do interactive analysis of massive datasets - up to bilions of rows." That's pretty impressive and must take a lot of server space. That's exactly the point though as Google is offering to let businesses and developers offload their data onto Google's servers for analysis.
ComputerWorld is reporting that Google product manager Ju-Kay Kwek spoke at the GigaOm Structure Data conference this week about the company's plans for this new service. The boldest claim they can offer in regards to BigQuery is that they let businesses offload all the data onto the cloud. This prevents them from having to build data farms and it lets Google fine tune their data collection algorithms.
Some of the trial users at the moment are using the service to collect data on how ads are doing or making fiscal projections. All this and more is done over the cloud at a price that is "quite reasonable" according to one company using the service.
Interested companies can sign up for the BigQuery preview right now. This will put you on a waitlist and you will be notified when the service is ready.
Here's a talk from Google I/O 2010 that touched upon BigQuery: