Google, cluster management and the red pill
I was referred to the following video by a friend, and it completely blew my mind. It got my attention at the beginning when the speaker, ex-HP researcher, said joining Google was like taking the red pill:
To me, there are two types of infrastructures - those who manage their servers manually, and those who do that automatically using provisioning tools like Foreman and Puppet. This discussion is about a third type, about growing computers in a farm like they were plants. About thinking abstractly in so many level above what's being discussed today. And this talk is over 2 years old already.
And it gets even better. Make sure to read the follow-up post on Wired from March this year, where they talk more on the subject, and mention Twitter are building their system to mimic Google's Borg and Omega. It is called Mesos - it's a cluster management software that will do its best to make the most out of the servers, and its completely open-source.
The clusters I'm working with are so tiny compared to the ones discussed, that I find it highly unlikely I'll be even experimenting with such a tool any time soon. Yet, I find it highly impressive and inspiring learning about those efforts, and it actually provides a lot of food for thought about any distributed system design.