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How Many Servers Does Google Have? (Poll)  (View post)

Asher Stuhlman [PersonRank 0]

Monday, May 28, 2007
13 years ago7,093 views

Theoretically, I could manipulate the entire results by posting an arbitrarily large number or a negative number. Is this accounted for?

ranon [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

This is like the old Chinese Poll asking everybody the length of the emperor's nose and the average of that is taken as the answer.

It is useless.

BUGabundo [PersonRank 7]

13 years ago #

it doesnt seem so... because someone put in a really large number

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Asher, I just added a lower and upper number limit of what I consider to be "ridiculously off pointing at abuse", though the upper number is a bit hard to define. Definitely, the usefulness of the result will depend on how serious people enter their guesses...

> This is like the old Chinese Poll asking everybody
> the length of the emperor's nose and the average
> of that is taken as the answer.

Actually, for certain types of questions this works incredibly well – better, on average, than an individual expert guess (see amazon.com/Wisdom-Crowds-James ...). However, I can't tell you if this poll is one of those types of questions where this can work; it depends on the diversity of the crowd, it depends on how serious people take it, and it also may depend a lot on the kinds of parameters like what is known about the problem and so on...

My Answer... [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

A Googol?

Vincent the cat [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

Perhaps you should show some other values than the mean – median and mode will present a more accurate picture of the number

y [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

the question is not very well defined. do you mean cpus, motherboards, ...?

stefan2904 [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google#P ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_p ...

Trvy Melltor [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

its pretty precise. its asked about whole servers nothing else, a cpu is not a server, and a motherboard itself either.

its asked about any running server google runs.

Amagi Tremper [PersonRank 3]

13 years ago #

The truth of wikipedia ;)

wikiality should give a hint to you }:]

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

470'000

Thank you stefan, I wasn't so far away from 450'000 :-)

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

I entered 500,000 by the way, and AFAIK the last official number Google provided was 10,000 :)

Jonathan Marks [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

100 million

And how many MW's of energy do all those servers use?
1000 MW

Jonathan Marks [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

600,000 servers and 6 MW per hour to keep Google on the air.

anon [PersonRank 7]

13 years ago #

Can't remember where but i saw a presentation recently that said it was 450'000 in Sept 2006 and now around 750'000. and velcro instead of screws for easier changes

Colin Colehour [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Google's answer would probably be something as generic as 'tens of thousands'.

Amagi Tremper [PersonRank 3]

13 years ago #

well probably we could use the value 3 billion dollor for cooling for some calculation :/

Zim [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

My guess was: 50.000.000 CPUs. Sound like a lot, but some silly and no-sense maths told me that.

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

"Can't remember where but i saw a presentation recently that said it was 450'000 in Sept 2006"
> In the New York Times.

Veky [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

People perceive the server number on the exponential scale, not on linear one (the change from 10 thousand to 100 thousand servers is perceived to be about the same as from 100 thousand to a million). So you shoul use geometric mean, not arithmetic one.

Of course, if you can ensure that one user enters only one guess (for example via IP tracking), then median would be the best.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

> Of course, if you can ensure that one user enters
> only one guess (for example via IP tracking)

Yeah, that's implemented in this poll...

Sam Davyson [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

250000 I guessed.

Kevin Burton [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

duh....... 2147483648 servers.....

Zim [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

I said a ridiculous number. Whatever. They work.

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Vincent suggested to display the median, I think that would be very useful.

Or, do what the sports judges do in some subjective sports: discard the top 10% and bottom 10% of scores before calculating the mean.

This thread is locked as it's old... but you can create a new thread in the forum. 

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