An interesting excerpt on the competitive advantage Google has from its skill in building out its massive cluster:
In an internet market where you deliver your services by computers with spinning disks, we have a competitive advantage... because we have the cheapest and most scalable such architecture.See also some of my other posts on the power of the Google cluster, including "NYT on the Google cluster", "Google's big bandwidth acquisitions", "Google Sawzall", and "Four petabytes in memory".
We hope that in the course of innovation we will be able to build products which are almost impossible for our competitors to replicate, because we simply learn how to implement them at scale.
The internet is a scaled business, and running large internet scale businesses is very, very difficult. All the challenges – staying up, dealing with spammers, dealing with other access problems – and we believe we do it best in the world.
See also my post, "Making the impossible possible", that quotes Google Earth CTO Michael Jones as saying, "Your perception of a thing that is a viable problem to think about is shaped by the tool you can use."
See also some of my posts ( ) about Microsoft's belated attempts to build their own cluster.