Vivek Haldar

What I work on…

… is deep infrastructure backend stuff. It is one of Google’s secret sauces, and when someone asked me, I usually just said “cluster management”, which sounds as inspiring as a damp towel.

Now Cade Metz over at Wired has saved me (and a bunch of others, I’m sure) by managing to go a bit deeper into what that means, adding some color to The System That Shall Not Be Named.

This software system is called Borg, and it’s one of the best-kept secrets of Google’s rapid evolution into the most dominant force on the web. Wilkes won’t even call it Borg. “I prefer to call it the system that will not be named,” he says. But he will tell us that Google has been using the system for a good nine or 10 years and that he and his team are now building a new version of the tool, codenamed Omega.

Borg is a way of efficiently parceling work across Google’s vast fleet of computer servers, and according to Wilkes, the system is so effective, it has probably saved Google the cost of building an extra data center.