Robert McMillan over at Wired Enterprise has an interesting article in which he reports that Google claims to be one of the world's largest hardware makers. We've all heard stories about how Google custom builds much of its equipment but I always imagined a medium sized shop with four or five guys assembling servers. Apparently, it's much bigger than that.
Google, it seems, designs its own servers, network gear, and possibly other computing equipment and farms out the actual manufacturing to the same Taiwanese and Chinese companies that make machines for Dell and HP. Google is pretty secretive about their hardware work so few details are actually known. Much of the material for McMillan's report came from Google's CFO Patrick Pichette during the annual stockholders' meeting. These details were apparently given to help convince the stockholders that Google has the requisite hardware expertise to handle the Motorola mobile phone acquisition.
McMillan has some interesting speculation as to what this could mean for hardware manufacturers such as Dell, HP, Cisco, and Juniper as more and more companies move to the cloud and consider building out their own data centers. Follow the link to get the full story; it's pretty interesting.