It is also prudent, as these long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) with new renewable generators will be very competitive, probably much cheaper than wholesale power prices, and be fixed into the future, avoiding price fluctuations from e.g. future gas supply shocks.
Ahead of Azure and way ahead of AWS/Oracle/IBM.
Then quality of the power (clean sine or noise spikes) auditing, then the factor that UPS's do square wave. Though that's more stability and indeed longevity of your kit plugged that appreciates those nuances.
It is one big rabbit hole and can imagine the likes of Google having dedicated teams to focus just on power optimisations as the dividends at that scale - more than pay for the team.
By the way if you still have AC UPS systems that is probably your #1 problem and you definitely will not benefit from some fancy machine learning thing. Just get rid of most of your AC systems. For example you may benefit by adopting Open Rack 48V-to-point-of-load scheme that uses an in-rack DC UPS.
The cut-off for that level of work I'd say is if you design your own servers over just speccing from a vendor level is when you would be doing this. Upto that, it's still vendor off shelf. Though been a while and an option some vendors may now offer at lower scales these days.
(1) Existing power usage doesn't work that way. You're basically on the hook for a predicable amount of usage. Of course, this could change, but the inertia behind this paradigm is high.
(2) Google has a bunch of hardware with relatively fixed costs that they'd prefer to run 24 hrs/day, 365 days/year.
Yes, especially in Europe where the dominant natural gas supplier, Russia, has shown itself more than willing to use their position as a political hammer. And I know, that's not just a Russia issue, other countries do the same, they're just the most applicable when talking about gas in Europe.
In the north data centers can double as heating power plants when coupled with district heating. It's unfortunate that Google puts the excess heat into the sea. Yandex has a big data center in Mäntsälä. Their cooling water is used for heating the area. There are also data centers in Helsinki where heat is used in district heating.
Great to hear this is being put into action. Computing -> heat.
But a French company is having a go at this: https://www.qarnot.com/computing-heater_qh-1/
That's true of resistive heating. Heat pumps are more efficient.
But I'd venture to say the statement "most electric heaters are heatpumps" is in fact false. There are a lot of heat pumps in the world, but there are also a lot of pure resistive electric heaters. I suspect that most things people call electric heaters are resistive electric heaters.
If a Stirling engine can be operate at 50% efficiency and a heap pump can operate at 400% efficiency, could we take a source of heat (e.g. heat side product of computation instead of burning fuel) use it to power the Stirling engine and use the movement of the Stirling engine to power a heat pump and thus turn computation into house heating at effective 200% efficiency? (under whatever assumptions were made in the claim of 400% efficient heat pump; I assume the temperature differential is key; I also assume that the optimal cold side for the stiling engine and for the heat pump is quite different, but you can tap one in cold air and the other in deep ground)
A heat pumpt doesn't generate heat, it /pumps/ it from one location to another. It can only achieve above-100% efficiency if you don't include the source of the heat in your calculation.
For a more practical example, consider a (simplified) geothermal heating system. It consists of a probe that's drilled some 10-15m into the earth, a radiator in your living space as well as a pump and piping connecting the two. The earth's temperature surrounding the probe is relatively constant at 10-15 degrees C.
In winter, when the outside temperature falls below those 10-15 C, you pump warm water from the probe into the radiator. Using the example numbers, 100W of electrical energy might provide you with 400W of heating output. The 100W has no part in generating the heat though, it only moves it from the warmer probe to the cooler radiator. The reverse applies in Summer, when the surface temperature is higher than 10-15 C.
What you're describing exists in the form of district heating. Heat is generated in a central location (e.g. as a side product from garbage incinerators), and a heat pump is used to transfer the thermal energy from that location into a bunch of surrounding houses. But, in any case: the whole process only makes sense as a way to capture excess energy from the heat-generating process; and you are always limited to (at the theoretical maximum) capture all of the excess energy output, but not one Joule more.
The components inside the computer do something with the electricity, which results in it being turned into heat. So by doing useful computing and using the created heat as a result for heating something, you've effectively made the heating free, to the degree you can use the computing for something useful.
(Sorry this is complicated to explain, I hope it makes sense. Regardless, I get your point.)
In theory, you could take the money gained through the computing and devote some of the profits to generating sustainable energy.
Note though, I'm not really convinced that the economics work out here with:
a. how much more efficient data centers are
b. how quickly anything like this would lose value
c. the setup and connection costs
Now, like someone else commented, if you really want to heat an environment, the traditional resistance heating is not the best solution. With a heat pump, you can cheat, and get an efficiency of over 100% (because instead of using the energy to heat the room, you are using the energy to take heat from somewhere else and also put it in the room).
There are many research projects that could use some more computing power and that would bring a gain to humanity.
I get the feeling if money was not involved it may qualify as a worthy research project.
Conversion efficiency is proportional to the difference in temperature, so for most wate-heat scenarios, electricity generation is either non-functional, or barely functional, but impractical. In a lot of scenarios you end up interfering with the efficiency or longevity of whatever you were trying to cool in the first place.
I switched to a Chromebox as my daily driver 2 years and change ago because my bedroom would be about 1F higher than the other rooms at idle and I saw it 11F hotter one time after several hours of one of the BattleField titles running dual GPUs.
The added benefit is, even with the PC running at idle 24/7 the Chromebox would have paid for itself right around the 2 year mark in energy savings at a full load.
Guess again (TLDR: Law requires Internet companies to store Russians’ personal data within country’s borders ) https://www.wsj.com/articles/google-moves-some-servers-to-ru...
I know of scary few products by Google (or one of the other tech bigcos) that successfully wiped out an up-and-coming startup.
They did acquire quite a bunch, but can you name a successful Google product that killed a startup without acquiring it? I'm sure there are some but it can't be much. Docs, Android, Firebase, Maps all came out of acquisitions.
I mean, sure, they're super competitive, but my impression is that that competitiveness is mostly targeted at Amazon/AWS, Microsoft, Facebook, etc. I mean GCP is mostly just Google reimplementing the most popular AWS products with less cruft. That's super competitive but I'm curious how it threatens your one man business.
I've seen this before as "Think long-term, not short-term". Sometimes it can be true.
That’s why people tell you to “be yourself”. It’s a rough proxy for “don’t be other people” which is a rough proxy for “don’t be something someone else is already succeeding at.”
But also, if you are really enamored of Google, maybe that means you should work towards getting hired there!
(I'm a self-funded entrepreneur)
I know I personally highly value the ability to talk to an actual human if I’m having a problem.
But if big IT has learned their lesson they won't wait until you're too big to run you over. It's why everyone is on acquisition sprees these days, or simply incorporate tech and ideas into their products and use their sheer market share to drown smaller competitors they borrowed the idea from.
A niche may be different since no company can cover everything. But it's still uncertain when they choose to go there and go head to head with you. Google didn't overtake MS by playing in a niche. So I guess it depends on what your targets are.
This means that you could be the best in your field for hundreds of miles around, but your neighbors might still go on Amazon and order a product manufactured in China.
I worry about this.
Find or invent a tiny niche and be among the best in the world in it, and the whole world (including China) will come to you for it.
they certainly do aggressively shutdown the products.
> I probably should just merge into Google one day and stop my worrying?
Every second you are worrying about what Google is doing rather than continuing to work on whatever you are working on is the second you are wasting.
- Google Search/Ads and Google Cloud are money makers. They are constantly improved, handled with care and have prices comparable to the competition, maybe slightly lower
- Chrome is costing massive amounts of money. Between the massive development effort and the big worldwide marketing campaigns Google must have spent billions on Chrome in a play to protect their other services and dictate web standards. Android also belongs in this category, dictating a massive portion of the mobile market
- GMail/GSuite, Youtube, Google Home etc probably about break even. Like the previous category they are strategic plays aimed at controlling a market, and they are great for the brand. But since their markets are less valuable they are the step children
- lastly we have the experiments. Google has cut most of them, and you are probably better off not using them at all
Most monopolies have been government granted - railroads through free land, AT&T by creation, etc.
Google is undercutting everyone in the mobile OS market. What once was a varied market died completely because nobody could compete with Android's "it's free if you agree to preload a bunch of Google apps" (iOS isn't really on the market since its Apple exclusive, LG can only reasonably choose Android). Google makes all that lost income back because this creates a monopoly for the Play Store, and massively helps other Google services.
Not really textbook examples, but that's because the textbook example of selling at a loss to kill all competition and then raise prices is illegal in most cases
>This Note argues that the current framework in antitrust—specifically its pegging competition to “consumer welfare,” defined as short-term price effects—is unequipped to capture the architecture of market power in the modern economy. We cannot cognize the potential harms to competition posed by Amazon’s dominance if we measure competition primarily through price and output. Specifically, current doctrine underappreciates the risk of predatory pricing and how integration across distinct business lines may prove anticompetitive. These concerns are heightened in the context of online platforms for two reasons. First, the economics of platform markets create incentives for a company to pursue growth over profits, a strategy that investors have rewarded. Under these conditions, predatory pricing becomes highly rational—even as existing doctrine treats it as irrational and therefore implausible. Second, because online platforms serve as critical intermediaries, integrating across business lines positions these platforms to control the essential infrastructure on which their rivals depend. This dual role also enables a platform to exploit information collected on companies using its services to undermine them as competitors.
This is also the same approach that Uber is using - charge artificially low prices for rides to undercut other cab companies, and eventually deploy self-driving cars and increase their prices.
Which is what I'm saying - people claim it happens, but it never has. It's near impossible to corner a market without the government granting the monopoly.
It used it's massive, over 90% share of the market (and it's vertical supply chain) to deter competition, and made deals with other suppliers to make the inertia of competing a herculean task
Standard Oil owned 90%+ of the oil refineries in the US (they never did drill for oil) yet that wasn't why Standard Oil was broken up. They were broken up because they were using their influence with oil to control the train industry, specifically, train transport of oil. 
Microsoft wasn't threatened with breakup over their operating system monopoly on desktop computers, but because they were using that influence with at attempt to control the web browser industry.
 And ironically, it was the breakup of Standard Oil that made John. D. Rockefeller the richest man in the world. He was also responsible for saving the world's population of whales. 
 Half-serious here. Whale oil was big business, until Rockefeller made petroleum products cheap enough to supplant whale oil as a product.
But the price did not go up.
I consider Google to be one of the giants that are entirely irrelevant in competitive terms. They almost comically stay in their lane: search, YouTube, search, Gmail, search, search, ads, search, Android, search, search, Google Cloud, search. Every ten years or so maybe they'll add something.
I consider Google to be a company that never has to be considered when I'm thinking about building something.
I have no plans to launch my own massive operating system (what small team is going to do that anyway). I have no interest in doing a common search engine. Competing in the streaming space with YouTube, Netflix, & Co. is a nightmare of licensing & rights problems (and it's very saturated). The last thing I'd ever want to do is run an email service (thankful for those that do it well). AWS, Azure, and 37 other cloud service providers already exist, no need to reinvent that wheel and compete with Google Cloud (they're not the most competitive there anyway).
Google search is 21 years old. Gmail is 15 years old. YouTube is 14-15 years old. Android is 11 years old. Google is gray.
So what else is there? That just leaves 99% of everything else that I never, ever have to worry about Google competing seriously in.
Google is the first company that started to spend money on productionize self driving technology. It takes time to get to market, because the problem is super hard.
If you want something newer that probably won't go away any time soon, Tensorflow is a few years old, and TPUs are also just a few years old. Google has many of the best and biggest number of AI researchers, and it's not shy to use the AI infrastructure in production.
What is "Oath"?
> This [...] is in addition to the $7 billion the company has invested since 2007 in the EU, [...] today’s announcement was focused on Google’s commitment to building data centers running on clean energy.
I have never ever written my email on such form. The first thing I do when I see it is to close it and think its a low-budget website or something.
I personally hate this trend, but almost everybody's doing it these days
On top of that, renewables aren't carbon neutral per se, either. And the hardware you put into those things isn't free either.
Now you might argue the services google is able to provide with them warrant the environmental costs, but that's another question entirely. And you might argue that google did a lot of things to reduce their footprint (and they did) but it's hardly close to zero, let alone negative.
They have been carbon neutral since 2007, though prior to 2017 some of that was done with carbon offsets.
In other words, do you have a plan for decreasing actual footprint without having it followed by: “Hey guys, we can afford increasing our population!”
Sure, tho youtube cat videos are not a basic need in my humble opinion, and neither is tracking my every digital move so you can sell me to advertisers.
>Factories, food, electricity can’t be decreased if every decrease per person is followed by an increase in headcounts
Well, food demand will increase, but can we and the comparatively fragile system that is our planet afford that people eat a big chunk of cow every day? How about a big chunk of cow every few days instead?
We can actually decrease factories or rather their ecological footprint, and we can use less electricity (a new fridge uses less electricity than an old fridge, and there is technological advancement to be had, and a lot of low hanging fruits still) and we can can produce energy with less pollution. And we can plant some fucking trees. And then even cut down those trees and bury them in the ground, putting back some of the carbon we took out before. And regulate polluters into oblivion.
A lot of changes would be "hard", like taking away people's daily burgers, and punishing corporate polluters. So they probably will not happen because politicians are chicken shits, scared they will be voted out of office if the price of meat goes up, or some coal mine closes and loses some jobs.
But we can at least regulatory incentivize good behavior and better products.
But yeah, my plan would also include tackling the population issue as a major part of it. Not in a "one child" Chinese way, of course, but I'd strongly deincentivize having many children, starting with no more tax breaks/credits after birth two and creating harsh prison sentences for people who are not willing to pay their child support (which is different to not being able to pay, of course), but also investing heavily in making access to free contraceptives and education about contraceptives available to everybody. But sadly there are far too many evil morons running around preaching abstinence-only, because their imaginary friend in the Heavens doesn't like the feel of latex on the skin or something.
And a lot more out there, I'd also invade the Vatican and try the pope and his flunkies for crimes against humanity. If we can put Serbs and African "leaders" on trial, we should be able to do the same to the pope.
When an audience member asked if they would be releasing their models that help them manage power, the speaker quickly changed the topic, which I felt told me all I needed to know about the sincerity of their motivations.
I doubt Google's being super protective of data center power optimization stuff. Demand optimization sounds like a relatively straightforward software problem for Amazon, Microsoft, etc to solve. Most of the utility would be for the smaller players.
So here's something you can personally do to make a dent to this problem. Most of the Hadoop jobs that you write will involve some statistical summary over a dataset. Find the total, or the mean, median, 90th quantile, whatever. Writing a Hadoop map-reduce job is the single worst way to do this.Almost always, you can sample say a 1000 points, get a kernel density estimate via Parzen & then use a table. All quantiles, order statistics, functions of order stats...these can be hand computed for several univariate distributions & their location-scale families, and your real-life data can easily be bounded above below by these estimates. So you can get to > 95% accuracy just by hand-calculating. I can go into details if you like, but I suspect most of you already know how to do this.
Yes, you can argue the point you made, but it's not particularly insightful because the specific IP employed to govern power mgmt at Google DCs is only truly applicable to Google DCs.
Even a "C-level" person in the singular sense most likely does not have the authority to approve such a thing. And if you don't have approval, you probably shouldn't talk or speculate about it in a public forum.
Don't hate the player. Hate the legal-liability game.
It’s very easy to be wrong, and it’s the worst kind of wrong because you feel so justified. You have reasons.
If one was truly concerned about 'democratizing AI', as companies like Google so often claim, then sharing access to the trained models would arguably be far more effective than just sharing research papers which many companies don't even know how to implement. In fact the large majority of companies that are responsible for energy consumption don't have any data on the scale that Google has, so I would go as far as call this a bad faith deflection from the beginning.