Looking over the lists of Google's innovations that Stephen E. Arnold details in The Google Legacy, I found this quote:
Another key notion of speed at Google concerns writing computer programs to deploy to Google users. Google has developed short cuts to programming. An example is Google's creating a library of canned functions to make it easy for a programmer to optimize a program to run on the Googleplex computer. At Microsoft or Yahoo, a programmer must write some code or fiddle with code to get different pieces of a program to execute simultaneously using mulitple processors. Not at Google. A programmer writes a program, uses a function from a Google bundle of canned routines, and lets the Googleplex handle the details. Google's programmers are freed from much of the tedium associated with writing software for a distributed, parallel computer.
A great idea!
We had the same idea when we created The Digipede Framework SDK. A developer who needs to scale or speed his application (whether it's a web app, an n-tiered app, or something that handles many transaction) doesn't want to become a master of distributed computing. Sure, it's not rocket science these days to start a process on another machine. But what happens when machines go down? What happens when new machines come online? How do you install the right software, guarantee execution, reassign tasks as necessary?
Quickly, this becomes much more complicated than the program the developer was improving in the first place.
This is exactly why the Digipede Framework SDK is so valuable. It frees developers from thinking about the vagaries and subtleties of moving processes around the network. It lets them spend their time working on their software. And it gives them the speedup or scalability they need in a fraction of the time it would have taken to do it themselves.