"hundreds" of machines probably means that they sourced the machines at Peer1 or maybe Rackspace. They would not be sourcing from Google because they design their own machines.As I was considering my purchase I recall a conversation with a coworker. I was against the purchase for production because we have a lightsout operation and frequent hardware failures would only increase our costs. If "we" were willing to give up our free time to repair used systems then we might be better of directing that time a revenue opportunities instead.
Well, I'm looking forward to my new arrival. 4 systems in a 2U rackmount with rails and 96GB ram. In all I should be able to build out my system fairly easily although I'm just a little concerned about the noise from the fans. Given the price I should be able to cut the expense of my Google Compute and Digital Ocean instances. In fact the savings could let me install a second network in the house for a little redundancy and speed.
In all, just on the cost savings alone (a) I could host myself (b) buy enough backup hardware for those eventual failures.