An image has bee posted on USENET of Google’s first server bil. The bill, dated September 28, 1998 includes all the setup and maintenance fees Google paid to get online. The invoice lists two network connections, one 15Mbps connection with 100Mbps burst capacity, and another 2Mbps with 100Mbps burst. The faster of the two cost $18,000 per month back then, but Google’s prorated charge was a mere $3750. Even then, Google was gobbling up bandwidth. The basic connections weren’t enough, so the company bought two additional megabits at $1400 each, just to be safe.
Google’s 7×4 foot server cage was running 30 PCs at the time, most of which housed the database. However, four were dedicated to crawling the web. Larry Page convinced the datacenter to give Google a break on the cost of the crawler bandwidth since it was all incoming traffic and didn’t cost much for Exodus. You can also see where the datacenter noted on the form Google was using “3 20 Amps in DC” in that little cage. Note the “LP” at the bottom — that’s Larry Page.
Shortly after Hölzle came to Google, the company expanded into a cage next to the original one that was three times larger. This is where the first rack servers went up. We don’t know how expensive that one was, but if an extra megabit was $1400, it was probably a lot.