has a very interesting article on Google, claiming that the single biggest thing Google has going for them right now is their ability to manage a 100,000-node distributed computing system, and then use the system to deploy new services that are nearly unthinkable using traditional mechanisms. In essence, they have the RAM and CPU power to keep the entire net cached in RAM and perform queries against it, even though individual nodes are dying and being rebuilt all the time.

Sounds like a fun job.