eBay's Infrastructure and Cloudy Ambitions

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eBay continues to add infrastructure to support its immense auction site, where its 84 million registered users generate more than $2,000 in economic activity every second. Paul Strong, a distinguished research scientist at eBay, recently discussed the site’s phenomenal growth with E-Commerce Times. Strong says that eBay, which started life on “three or four machines that (founder) Pierre Omidyar built from parts in his living room one weekend in 1995,” now has more than 15,000 servers in its six data centers. Here’s an excerpt:

All of our applications essentially scale out across hundreds or thousands of servers. In essence, our infrastructure is already a form of grid. Most of the applications we run are transaction-oriented in nature, but the platform is a network distributed set of resources that we coordinate using various hardware and software elements.

While eBay is no newbie when it comes to distributed computing, it also is embracing the cloud computing enthusiasm. The Industry Standard noted that eBay is now advertising for a Director of Cloud Computing Engineering, who will be responsible for “leading the strategy and implementation of initiatives, as well as the day to day engineering team management for the Cloud Computing initiative,” including “UI and SDK development for Cloud Consumers.”

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor-in-chief of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.