Amazon is More Interesting than Google

2011 September 07 10:15 PM

Via Google’s research blog:

Almost three years ago we announced results of the first ever “petasort” (sorting a petabyte-worth of 100-byte records, following the Sort Benchmark rules). It completed in just over six hours on 4000 computers. Recently we repeated the experiment using 8000 computers. The execution time was 33 minutes, an order of magnitude improvement.

What would it take to scale MapReduce by further orders of magnitude and make processing of such large data sets efficient and easy? One way to find out is to join Google’s systems infrastructure team. If you have a passion for distributed computing, are an expert or plan to become one, and feel excited about the challenges of exascale then definitely consider applying for a software engineering position with Google.

As an engineer, I hate this sort of announcement. Google has invented something very cool, but they won’t show it to you unless they think you are among the world’s elite engineers. They decide that you are an elite engineer primarily based on whether you went to an elite school. Elite code. Elite engineers. Elite schools. Elite company. How very elitist.

Google has been doing these sort of blog posts for years. Some engineer writes up an entry about how they are doing research using terabytes or petabytes of data. And then they end by saying you should work at Google. So nowadays, I don’t care about any of what Google does. Google+? Meh, they’ll probably discontinue it after 6 months because it doesn’t instantly win. MapReduce? Great, they’ve been sitting on this technology for a decade. Good for them. It doesn’t matter to me.

But the world has changed, and Google can’t seem to keep up. Amazon has become the polar opposite of Google, empowering every developer on the planet to make incredible technology. Want MapReduce? Amazon has you covered. Want to play with terabytes of data like it ain’t no thing? Check. Want to launch thousands of servers to handle a tough computation? Check, check, and check. Want to launch thousands of human brains to solve otherwise unassailable problems? No problem. Heck, want to simply send email to your users? They have that too.

Google offers none of it. Its like they are stoned and watching the world pass them by in a daze. Compared to Amazon Web Services, or even RackSpace, Google is in the stone age.

Perhaps I am biased by my spirit of entrepreneurship. I want to create great technology, but I want the benefits of my effort to accrue to me, not an elitist corporation.

Google is a cocktease.

Amazon finds new ways to be nice to me every other week.

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