The new search sandbox is unavailable due to data center maintenanceJust two days after Google launched its new indexing and search engine infrastructure, dubbed Caffeine, in testing to curious individuals the site is now down until at least later today. Google Engineer Matt Cutts made the announcement via the latest fashion in corporate communication, Twitter, blaming upgrades to a data center for the downtime.
“We're taking down the Caffeine sandbox until late Thursday afternoon-ish. Upgrades in datacenter. Don't worry, it'll be back,” Cutts tweeted. Visitors to the sandbox site are now greeted with an error page titled “System maintenance” and urging users to return later: "We are upgrading elements of our data centre. The Caffeine sandbox should be available for searching again in a few hours."
In a later comment on Search Engine Land Matt Cutts explained that the Caffeine sandbox was powered by a single data center that was currently undergoing upgrades to some power components. While it may be strange that Google decided to make the upgrades so soon after launching the new sandbox it may be that this wasn't a scheduled maintenance. The site should be back up by Thursday evening Pacific time.
The Caffeine sandbox was launched two days ago to give developers and advanced users a peek at the upcoming infrastructure that will power Google's search engine. While the company is constantly doing updates to its software and underlying technology, gradually building new features and functionality, this latest upgrade was so significant that Google is treating it as a new product.
Code-named Caffeine, the new infrastructure brings changes strictly focused on the underlying technology especially on the indexing side so they are more likely to interest web developers and site owners, at least at first. There is also a greater focus on real-time searches though this is less apparent for the time being especially since there aren't any visual changes to the search experience.