Google’s Infrastructure Advantage Weblog: The Secret Source of Google’s Power
Well considered speculation about Google. I’d been keen to build an serving infrastructure with high redundancy using cheap hardware that could be managed at the system level, so a failure would just mean culling failed boxes, rebuilding them and adding them back to the queue of spares. I never really got the chance to build it. Too many 3-tier aps built on expensive software and not a high enough user load to really force the architecture issue.

We came close on the last software project I was a part of as I was able to influence the architecture from the very start, but it was never deployed.