What's Google Fiber, 1 gigabit connectivity good for? A load test for planning the future

A friend asked me what is next for Google data center group?  They build and design their own servers.  Design, build, and run their own data centers.  Google has tackled the network issues with a software defined network (SDN).  You can gather a bit from looking at job postings, but nothing really interesting popped up when I looked at the job postings.  What I did notice is a data center expansion that few know about, but I'll wait and see when others discover it rather than write a post on it.  Sometimes it is  better to share insights with friends rather than put a blog post up.

So, what is Google's next big thing?  I was reading GigaOm's Stacey Higginbotham's posts on Google fiber.  Stacey posted on the July 26th announcement.

Google Fiber to launch next week

Google just sent out invitations to a “special event” in Kansas City on July 26 which is undoubtedly the launch of its much-anticipated fiber-to-the-home network. The search giant sent an invite Tuesday that reads, “We would like to invite you to a special announcement about Google Fiber and the next chapter of the Internet.”




I'll be traveling on July 26th so I'll be slow in covering the news, so let's take a stab at what Google Fiber gives Google.

I think it is relatively simple.  Google fiber connects users with a 1 gigabit bandwidth connection vs. a more typical 10 megabit to the home.   Remember the days when the corporate LAN was 10 megabit, and it was a privilege to have 100 megabit?  1 gigabit is the common connection in corporate LANs now, and data centers are networked with 10 gigabit.

Google Fiber will have 600k population in Kansas City, MO and KS and thousands, ten thousand, maybe eventually a hundred thousand 1 megabit connections to two of its data centers in Iowa and Oklahoma.  

NewImage                  NewImage

Google is going to be able run load tests on these data centers with 1 gigabit connections to thousands of users.

Load testing is the process of putting demand on a system or device and measuring its response. Load testing is performed to determine a system’s behavior under both normal and anticipated peak load conditions. It helps to identify the maximum operating capacity of an application as well as any bottlenecks and determine which element is causing degradation. When the load placed on the system is raised beyond normal usage patterns, in order to test the system's response at unusually high or peak loads, it is known as stress testing. The load is usually so great that error conditions are the expected result, although no clear boundary exists when an activity ceases to be a load test and becomes a stress test.

With this data Google will be able to more accurately plan for when 1 gigabit will be pervasive what kind of changes are needed in the data centers, servers, networking storage, software, operations to run 1 gigabit connections.

Google will get great coverage on July 26th and there will be all kind of discussions on what gets delivered over the gigabit connection.  But, ultimately all these different scenarios are just a bits over the wire that will put a load on the above data centers.

All that use is going to give Google data on well their infrastructure holds up and what is required in the future.

Google fiber is a load testing of Google's data center, servers, networking, storage, software and operations.