We have noted before that Google has long understood the pitfalls of relying too heavily on disks for rapid results. There are numerous mentions of Google and their innovative use of memory within their data centers in More on Google's Storage Performance Gap and Google's Storage Performance Gap.
Today, some new rumors appeared that Google will be using flash-based solid state disks from Intel to add a bit more boost to their already speedy architecture. See Is Google Trying Solid-Sate Disks? at CNET. In particular, the reasons driving this shift are a need to reduce power, space, and cooling...all of which are characteristics where memory often fares better than disks.
Google is already a firm believe in this trend. An earlier quote from a Google presenter hinted...
It’s really not that useful to have things that are used even slightly frequently on disk because you are limited by the bandwidth to the disk and the number of seeks you can do.
So I don't think this is earth-shattering news. But the world seems continually interested in how Google is able to scale their massive infrastructure. No doubt others will have to find similar ways to scale as well.
If the new memory landscape is interesting to you, check out our series on Memory in the Data Center covering trends and industry implications.