15 years ago (on Feb 1st, 1999) I first set foot in a Google datacenter. Well, not really -- in the Google cage in the Exodus datacenter in Santa Clara. Larry had led me there for a tour (I wasn't an employee yet) and it was my first time in any datacenter. And you couldn't really "set foot" in the first Google cage because it was tiny (7'x4', 2.5 sqm) and filled with about 30 PCs on shelves. a1 through a24 were the main servers to build and serve the index and c1 through c4 were the crawl machines.
By that time we already had a second cage, immediately adjacent, that was about 3x larger and contained our first four racks, each containing 21 machines named d1-42 and f1-42 (don't ask me what happened to the b and e racks, I don't know). I don't recall who manufactured d and f but they were trays with a single large motherboard and a Pentium II CPU. (Later, the g rack would be the first corkboard rack.)
Some interesting details from the order:
- Yep, a megabit cost $1200/month and we had to buy two, an amount we didn't actually reach until the summer of 1999. (At the time, 1 Mbps was roughly equivalent to a million queries per day.)
- You'll see a second line for bandwidth, that was a special deal for crawl bandwidth. Larry had convinced the sales person that they should give it to us for "cheap" because it's all incoming traffic, which didn't require any extra bandwidth for them because Exodus traffic was primarily outbound.
- Note the handwritten "3 20 Amps in DC" change to the standard order form. At the time, DC space was sold per square foot, and we always tried to get as much power with it as possible because that's what actually mattered.
- This particular building was one of the first colocation facilities in Silicon Valley. Our direct neighbor was eBay, a bit further away was a giant cage housing DEC / Altavista, and our next expansion cage was directly adjacent to Inktomi. The building has long since been shut down.