Robert Cringely writes about Google’s possible plans:
Google’s strengths are searching, development of Open Source Internet services, and running clusters of tens of thousands of servers. Notice on this list there is nothing about operating systems.
The same follows for the rumor that Google, as a dark fiber buyer, will turn itself into some kind of super ISP. Won’t happen. And WHY it won’t happen is because ISPs are lousy businesses and building one as anything more than an experiment (as they are doing in San Francisco with wireless) would only hurt Google’s earnings.
So why buy-up all that fiber, then?
The probable answer lies in one of Google’s underground parking garages in Mountain View. There, in a secret area off-limits even to regular GoogleFolk, is a shipping container. But it isn’t just any shipping container. This shipping container is a prototype data center. Google hired a pair of very bright industrial designers to figure out how to cram the greatest number of CPUs, the most storage, memory and power support into a 20- or 40-foot box. We’re talking about 5000 Opteron processors and 3.5 petabytes of disk storage that can be dropped-off overnight by a tractor-trailer rig. The idea is to plant one of these puppies anywhere Google owns access to fiber, basically turning the entire Internet into a giant processing and storage grid.
Michael Parekh adds: “If Cringely’s scenario is true, each of the GYMA consumer companies (Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, and AOL) will have to step up their infrastructure spend if any of them accerates more than the norm. And they’ll be joined by the cable and telco companies since all of this involves the fusion of video, audio, text, and every form of multimedia imaginable.”
Don Dodge writes: “GYMA (Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL) will be important players in the next generation of the web, sometimes referred to as Web2.0. It really is a whole new thing. The idea of SaaS (Software as a Service) is to move computing resources off individual PCs and onto the network. To do this you need high bandwidth connections. Nearly everyone has that. But, if you can get data storage near the network access points and a computing infrastructure there as well…Wow! This changes the dynamics significantly.”