What you see before you is the Google Server, the commodity hardware Google uses to run all its operations. The machine is a standard Intel/AMD 2U server but each one has its own 12-volt battery, ensuring that the servers will maintain power in emergency situations, thereby alleviating the need for a large, nasty UPS.
They keep all of these servers inside shipping containers – they can fit about 1,160 in one container, and treat them like big fat black boxes.
What’s most compelling about this model is the banality of the hardware. Any one of us could create a similar server but to chain them together inside enclosed containers is an amazing feat. I can barely get my MacBook to work with my TiVo, let alone connect over one thousand servers to the world.