To Page and Brin Search Speed "Was Like Motherhood, and Scale Was Apple Pie"
(p. 37) The average search at that time, Hölzle recalls, took three and a half seconds. Considering that speed was one of the core values of Page and Brin-- it was like motherhood, and scale was apple pie-- this was a source of distress for the founders. "Basically during the middle of the day we were maxed out," says Hölzle. "Nothing was happening for some users, because it would just never get a page basically back. It was all about scalability, performance improvements." Part of the problem was that Page and Brin had written the system in what Hölzle calls "university code," a nice way of saying amateurish.
Levy, Steven. In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011.