Thursday, April 2, 2009

Google Shares its Server Design

Google drives innovation in Server Efficiency

What is this geeky nonsense and why am I blogging about it? Well off the grid yesterday I shared this article with a few buddies. Some gearheads had turned an old VW into an 84mpg medium high performance vehicle for about $7,000.

This article from Google makes me wonder why the large consumers of transportation technology arent demanding the same sorts of innovation and efficiency. What sort of clout does an Avis or a Hertz wield with GM? Could FedEx lock in to a multi-decade, multi-thousands of vehicles agreement with whoever makes their trucks and demand better fuel efficiency and lower costs?

Sure, you and I as consumers dont really give a crap about the cost of gasoline. Even when it's $4 a gallon our pain is mostly psychological. I buy about 750 gallons of gas a year. Incremental increases in cost really arent that meaningful. Sure, I hate seeing $60 go into my gas tank as much as the next person but it's REALLY not that much more money. Doubling a small number is really just a slightly larger small number.

But what about UPS or a chain like Marriott with their courtesy vehicles? Surely every penny in increased fuel costs tightens their belts....around their NECKS like a noose.

Google did this and innovated in an environment where electricity was relatively inexpensive. So why didnt "Cheap Electrons" cause the same sort of anti-innovation lethargy for their business that "Cheap Gas" does for transportation?

I know it's not apples to apples and the R&D on a new car is a lot more expensive than a server made out of 5 or 6 components, but I think this speaks more to the real problem in Detroit...the culture problem.


1 comment:

Mike Teeters said...

Beyond the point raised in your post, the Google article is very cool -- I can't believe I missed it.