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Google has fleshed out more of its storage infrastructure story, explaining how it monitors the performance of its systems and can store data "forever."

The information was revealed in a recent report by Google researchers Eduardo Pinheiro, Wolf-Dietrich Weber, and Luiz Andre Barroso and provides a glimpse into the internal workings of the notoriously secretive search giant. (See Google Grumbles and Google Earnings Up.)

According to the report, Google has built an infrastructure that collects vital information about its infrastructure "every few minutes" and a repository that can store this data "essentially forever."

At the heart of this effort is a what Google describes as its "System Health infrastructure," a large distributed software system collecting information from all the firm's servers.

Google keeps its technology specifics close to its chest, and the report does not name any vendors, although it is said that Google uses around 10,000 Linux-based servers in 13 data centers dotted around the world. (See Tracking Google's IT Booty, Gettin Googly, and Tech Cash Slashed? Learn From Google.)

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