Google's Brew Of Open-Source And Custom Code - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Software // Enterprise Applications
News
8/25/2006
01:15 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Google's Brew Of Open-Source And Custom Code

Special tools are needed to manage the company's highly customized IT infrastructure.

Reliance on open source code runs deep among Google's developers, and the company uses open source in its production systems, too. The software has been Google-ized--something new added to make it fit Google's way of doing things.

A majority of Google's engineering desktops are Linux machines. They're typically loaded with tools such as the Free Software Foundation's Gnu C Compiler; Make, a Unix utility for assembling files into a C program; and Apache Ant, open source code for assembling Java applications from Java files.

In that sense, Google looks "very much like a typical IT shop in a lot of ways," says Chris DiBona, open source program manager.

But when it comes to the Apache Web Server, one of the most common pieces of open source code, Google eschews the standard issue. "We use very little Apache around here," DiBona says. Google's internally developed Web server has been tuned to provide monitoring and health information for system reliability.

Google developers use a homegrown system to generate a "build" out of complex software projects; the system is capable of integrating code in different languages from distributed developers. "We have a very large code base, and there are often a lot of dependencies," DiBona says. The system can heed those dependencies and enforces use of previously established, tested code when it fits files together.

Google talks up its ties to open source, but the company's IT infrastructure is so customized, such as its "cell" data storage system, that specialized tools are needed to manage the code that taps such resources.

Ajax, which powers Google Maps and Gmail, is one area in which Google has given some of its own development expertise back to the open source community. Google contributed $3 million to support interns for 600 open source projects this summer and last.

Return to the story:
Google Revealed: The IT Strategy That Makes It Work

Continue to the sidebars:
Google Goes Its Own Way In The Data Center
and Profile: Google Technologist Knows Problem Solving Firsthand

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Commentary
Will AI and Machine Learning Break Cloud Architectures?
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  6/10/2019
Slideshows
9 Steps Toward Ethical AI
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  5/15/2019
Commentary
Humans' Fascination with Artificial General Intelligence
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  6/6/2019
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
A New World of IT Management in 2019
This IT Trend Report highlights how several years of developments in technology and business strategies have led to a subsequent wave of changes in the role of an IT organization, how CIOs and other IT leaders approach management, in addition to the jobs of many IT professionals up and down the org chart.
Slideshows
Flash Poll