Mood: accident prone
Now Playing: "Pink PookyPie" Flatulent landlord causes explosive landrush (kitchenus physicis)
Once upon a time an idea is so basic and good it sticks around and festers until it pops.
Several years ago, the company found a way to build a data center quickly and easily by simply filling a warehouse with stacked shipping containers — each one filled with computers. You just plug the containers together and flip the switch. Clever.
Google actually borrowed the shipping container concept from The Internet Archive, a digital library, which envisioned using such containers to replicate its archive in locations all around the world. Once Larry Page, a co-founder of Google, learned how they could work, he saw shipping containers as a way for Google, too, to get its data closer to users.
Proximity to users is important because of the way that data moves around the Internet — by hopping from one router to another. Each router looks at the packet of data and sends it on in the appropriate direction; the average data packet hops 18 times as it makes its way across the Internet. Because each hop takes time — only a matter of milliseconds, but still measurable time — the best way to speed transmission is to reduce the hops. This can be done either by creating a figurative fast lane, which violates net neutrality, or by simply putting the data closer to the user, which doesn’t.
Google’s agreement with Verizon could very well be merely a way for Google to get its data closer to users, by dropping its shipping containers into Verizon data centers, or perhaps their parking lots. The phone company’s data centers, after all, are typically only one or two hops from Internet users.
So... having gateways geophysically close to users (as in one's home country) is more than just a gimmick, isn't it? Why, yes it is. It's an understanding of how latency damages the experience and immediacy breeds intimacy.