SiliconValley.com sponsored a discussion on the "Google Network" and there are some very informed comments in there about how Google's infrastructure is a competitive advantage.
After I posted my "Google skynet" comments on Robert Cringely's recent articles, I got a surprising dose of skepticism in several emails - "I'll believe it when I see it." was one theme.
A lot of people seem to doubt the veracity of Cringely's report. I was a bit stunned by this, because I think most experienced Google watchers know that Google's infrastructure is a huge part of what got them where they are today - these are the kids who designed their own racks so they could cram motherboards, disks and fans together pell-mell; then they built their own distributed filesystem.
I believe it's obvious that Brin and Page would build the next quantum leap computing architecture by extending how they leverage cheap hardware, dark fiber and worldwide reach. It's a logical progression. And they are really good at logic and logistics.
Don't you just know they'd love the idea of using helicopters to fly a datacenter from the ship right to the power station? Ship it over, plug it in, and turn it on. No different than installing a rack, really.
So I'm glad to see that the comments in the discussion group show that several others do see the outline of this type of strategy, and that Larry Page especially would be pre-disposed to an massive infrastructure advantage. This quote below is from David Vise, author of The Google Story
The dark fiber Google has been buying is for slashing peering costs per an edict from Larry Page, I'm told by Googlers. Larry has a penchant for saving money through dark fiber and looking for ways to reduce the cost of electrical power, another major consideration in the equation for Google as it deploys computers in data centers around the world.
And to those who doubt that Google would be building something like this, Page would probably shrug and say: "They'll 'get it' when they 'get it'".