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December 14, 2007

Big BizWeek cover story zooms in on Google, UW grad

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano at 5:12 PM

BusinessWeek is focusing again on Google and its cloud computing efforts this week. An interesting read, some of which will be familiar to folks around here. The story kicks off with an anecdote about thinking big at Google -- what if you had 1,000 times more data? -- and a University of Washington grad's efforts to help would-be job applicants do just that.

Google engineer Christophe Bisciglia, a Gig Harbor kid who earned a computer science degree at the UW in 2003 and is featured on BusinessWeek's cover, launched a pilot course at his alma matter in large-scale computing. It started as an educational effort but has turned into much more. From the article:

"Call it Google 101. [CEO Eric] Schmidt liked the plan. Over the following months, Bisciglia's Google 101 would evolve and grow. It would eventually lead to an ambitious partnership with IBM, announced in October, to plug universities around the world into Google-like computing clouds.

"As this concept spreads, it promises to expand Google's footprint in industry far beyond search, media, and advertising, leading the giant into scientific research and perhaps into new businesses. In the process Google could become, in a sense, the world's primary computer.

"'I had originally thought [Bisciglia] was going to work on education, which was fine,' Schmidt says late one recent afternoon at Google headquarters. 'Nine months later, he comes out with this new [cloud] strategy, which was completely unexpected.' The idea, as it developed, was to deliver to students, researchers, and entrepreneurs the immense power of Google-style computing, either via Google's machines or others offering the same service."

The coverage goes on to explore cloud computing at Google as well as competitors Microsoft, Yahoo and Amazon. It also includes a nice nod to UW man-about-technology Ed Lazowska (formal title: Bill & Melinda Gates Chair in Computer Science & Engineering) who is described in the article as Bisciglia's mentor.

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