Software: Google's Secret Sauce?

Software, not commodity hardware, is the magic to Google's scalability, according to one industry exec.

Google held a Conference on Scalability in its Seattle office last Saturday, which featured a look at the back-end operations of Google and YouTube, along with presentations by executives from VeriSign, Symantec and Amazon.com. Rackspace CTO John Engates summarized the discussion on the managed hosting company's Racklabs blog. An excerpt:

Essentially the Google model is to deploy an extremely large amount of commodity (cheap) hardware and storage. The magic is in the software that Google runs on top of this hardware. ... What this tells me is that you need to spend your money on developers instead of hardware. It also means your developers need to understand the infrastructure underneath their software. They shouldn't be allowed to develop their software with the expectation that they can always get a bigger server. My advice