Coming on the heels of Google’s supposed upcoming BigTable announcment, I recommend the following if you want to learn more:
First, a 1-hour video talk given last summer by Jeff Dean about Google’s overall distributed architecture, including Google File System, MapReduce, and BigTable:
Next, a website I found called highscalability.com which talks about a lot of these topics in a blog format. There’s an interesting summary of Google’s architecture with links here. Ironically, this site seems to be down/overloaded a lot.
Next, a whitepaper on BigTable. Lots of details for the inquiring mind, but still approachable for a software person who is not expert in distributed systems, or BigTable in particular. This was linked from the TechCrunch article.
Finally, there’s this separate 1-hour video, also with Jeff Dean, that was given in 2005 at the UW.
I haven’t actually watched this one yet, having opted to watch the 2007 one linked earlier.
Have fun! P.S. I would appreciate notes about other good BigTable orientation information.