Who Has the Most Web Servers?

Rackspace (RAX) just become one of a select number of companies that house more than 50,000 servers in their data centers. Who else is running at least 50,000 servers?

A look inside one of the data centers operated by 1&1 Internet, which is among the companies with the most web servers.

Which company has most web servers? We first examined the question in April 2009, prompted by news that Rackspace now had 50,000 servers. We went looking for other companies that publicly report their server counts, and put together a list of those whose numbers we know, along with a rundown of companies that have extensive Internet infrastructure but don't disclose their server counts. Here's a look at our list of Who Has The Most Servers, gleaned from public reports and partial data from a recent Netcraft server count report.

Updated, in July 2013 to add new Microsoft count, Facebook's estimate, eBay's DSE number and reflect continuing growth at OVH, Akamai and Rackspace:

  • Microsoft has more than 1 million servers, according to CEO Steve Ballmer (July, 2013)
  • Facebook has "hundreds of thousands of servers" (Facebook's Najam Ahmad, June 2013)
  • OVH: 150,000 servers (company, July, 2013)
  • Akamai Technologies: 127,000 servers (company, July 2013)
  • SoftLayer: 100,000 servers (company, December 2011)
  • Rackspace: The strong growth of the Rackspace Cloud has boosted the total for this San Antonio-based provider to 94,122 servers as of March 31, 2013 (Source: Company press release)
  • Intel: 75,000 servers (company, August, 2011)
  • 1&1 Internet: "More than" 70,000 servers (company, Feb. 2010)
  • eBay: 54,011 servers (DSE dashboard, July 2013)
  • LeaseWeb: 36,000 servers (company, Feb. 2011)
  • Intergenia: (PlusServer/Server4You), 40,000 servers (company, 2013)

Of course, there are a number of providers who have at least 50,000 servers and don't publish the information. Who else is in the club?

Here's a list of companies we believe are running at least 50,000 servers:

  • Google: The search giant's server count has long been the focus of speculation. The company doesn't release numbers, but a recent report from energy expert Jonathan Koomey estimated that Google had 900,000 servers, based on an extrapolation from data Google provided on its total energy usage. Google's recently revealed container data center holds more than 45,000 servers, and that's a single facility built in 2005.
  • Amazon: It runs the world's largest online store and one of the world's largest cloud computing operations. Amazon says very little about its data center operations, but we know that it bought $86 million in servers from Rackable in 2008, and stores 40 billion objects in its S3 storage service. A 2009 analysis by Randy Bias estimates that 40,000 servers are dedicated to running Amazon Web Services' EC2.
  • Yahoo: While its data center infrastructure isn't quite as enormous as those for Google and Microsoft, the third major search portal likely has more than 100,000 servers in operation to support its large free hosting operation as well as its paid hosting service and Yahoo Stores.
  • GoDaddy: It's the world's largest domain registrar with more than 35 million domains under management, but effective cross-selling of its hosting plans has also made GoDaddy one of the largest shared hosting operations in the world. It's infrastructure is probably similar in scope to that of 1&1 Internet.
  • HP/EDS: While server "ownership" is less distinct with system integrators, EDS has an enormous data center operation. Company documents (PDF) say EDS is managing 380,000 servers in 180 data centers. (Thanks, Bruce for the link).
  • IBM: With more than 8 million square feet of data center space, IBM also houses an enormous number of servers in its data centers, both for itself and its customers.

Have we missed anyone obvious? Let us know in the comments.

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