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Google Research: Conference and Hard Drives

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The Google Research blog has announced they will be holding a conference on scalable systems on June 23 in Seattle. They’re soliciting speakers and offering free food, all in an effort to spread knowledge about systems that scale in order to handle big jobs for huge amounts of people.

We care a lot about scalability at Google. An algorithm that works only on a small scale doesn’t cut it when we are talking global access, millions of people, millions of search queries. We think big and love to talk about big ideas, so we’re planning our first ever conference on scalable systems. It will take place on June 23 at our Seattle office. Our goal: to create a collegial atmosphere for participants to brainstorm different ways to build the robust systems that can handle, literally, a world of information.

(via Greg)

Google software engineer Christophe Bisciglia has started a class at the University of Washington, a “Google 101″ that teaches students to program the way Google does, with distributed systems. You can read more at the Seattle PI, which makes mention of Google’s “10 percent” program. Is Google only allowing engineers half of the 20% time they used to have?
(via TechMeme)

Google has also released data on the huge amount of hard drives it uses in its system, analyzing the failure rate of those drives and releasing lots of information on drive stability. Turns out used hard drives are no less reliable than new ones, especially for the price paid for them. Basically, if a drive is strong enough to last the first year, it should be okay, so buy used, but don’t buy barely used, if that makes any sense.

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