cringley is an idiot

or maybe I am one.
Last November Robert X Cringley writes about a google project.
He claims that Google is planning to put 5,000 opteron CPUs and 2.5 Petabytes in a 20 or 40 foot container.

Back in November the story got attention, and now it bubbles back up again in the context of the “Google PC Walmart CES” buzzword cluster.

I wondered if the “Cringleytainer” would actually be feasible:

Those pieces would barely fit in a 40 foot container. Forget about air flowing around. Maybe it’s all water cooled?

Which leads to the ultimate flaw in Cringley’s concept:
5,000 CPUs @ 90 W and 30,000 disks @ 15 W would use 0.9 Megawatt. Let’s add 0.1 Megawatts for boards and powers supplies. Of course this would assume a couple of technology breakthroughs.
Ignoring the laws of thermo dynamics we have to add the same power to cool the thing: 2 Megawatts.

Googling around I found this power source for the Cringleytainer. Guestimating optistically again it would use a gallon of diesel every minute.

Of course Mr Cringley is not an idiot. Not more or less than anybody else. I am only certain that I am one,
since I had to spend so much time with me.

What strikes me is that such a story can float around without anybody doing the basic math. Or maybe people did and got ignored. It’s much more ‘news worthy’ to toss around crazy ideas involving google.

If I should be bored in mid March then I will try to inject the urban myth of a planned Apple Google merger into the world.

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