This was a decade ago, when Pinkham oversaw the hardware and software that ran Amazon, and the company was considering a spot in the data center, which housed machines for many web operations and other businesses. Google would later pull a curtain around its data-center hardware, moving much of it into private facilities, but in those days, it was easier for competitors like Pinkham to lay their eyes on Google machines.
Pinkham was struck by how different the machines looked — and how hot they were. Even then, Google was running its website on dirt-cheap, stripped-down servers slotted into extremely tight spaces. They didn’t even have plastic cases.