Teh Xiggeh

Google Borg

Posted in Search Engines by Xiggeh on July 24, 2006

We noticed the “using_borg” string appear in the Google error message last week, and now the phrase has come back again through another Google leak. To quote Garett Rogers at ZDNet:

“When checking out Google’s impressive second quarter on Google Finance today, I stumbled across something that leads me to believe they are testing “version 2″ of Google Finance”

What he actually saw was a link at the top-right of the page (next to “My Account”, etc) titled “v2 (test)”. The really interesting part is the URL contained in the link:


The URL isn’t accessable from here, and others have discovered the same. Assuming ‘borg.google.com’ can only be accessed from inside Google’s network, this may shed a bit of light on what “borg” actually means to the engineers.

Oh, and it’s been spotted again by Philipp Lenssen, this time using Google Video. In fact there’s rather a lot in Google.
Could it be an acronym? Here’s some that might fit:

  • BMRT Ordinary Rendering GUI
  • Business and Organisational Leadership

Or could it refer Anita Borg – a woman who “spent her life revolutionizing the way we think about technology”

I believe “borg.google.com” is used for internal testing, and perhaps as a repository for code not intended to leave the building. This would explain the accidental link from Google Finance, and the Google error message if they’re pulling test code for new features.

Any more sightings or possible explanations?

One Response to 'Google Borg'

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  1. Googler said,

    From a Googler:

    Borg is Google’s cloud infrastructure. It consists of many data centers located strategically around the globe. These data centers are growing in size exponentially. Whether the name refers to the Star Trek series… or Anita Borg… is a matter of opinion.

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