Who Has the Most Web Servers?

253 comments

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.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large 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.

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253 Comments

  1. I think you should update the Facebook number. They probably have got over 500.000 servers now.

  2. Base BallNY

    I think there are quite a few companies with very large server counts.. I used to work for a very large investment bank and they had a couple of compute farms that had many thousands of servers. In fact, the bank had outsourced a few of these to Savvis (over 5,000 servers), and I know they host similar farms for others in the same space (which was one of the reasons they were selected). These aren't workloads that virtualize very well, so I'd imagine this has grown over the past couple of years.

  3. CJNetworked

    Juniper ? ...

  4. You should post the most recent comment first..(to keep the discussion current) !

  5. James Beem

    Intuit?

  6. Raj

    What about HOSTWAY?

  7. Raj

    Gandi(france) claim they have 64 414 VPS created.

  8. web_developer

    you find the banks and investment banks turn to grid computing to harness computing power to run there operations. I worked at credit suisse and they have a department dedicated to grid computing, all them thousands of computers for staff to use in all of there different locations combined make a mass of processing power. this is an interesting review on it http://www.cunatechnologycouncil.org/news/166.html

  9. They need Eaton with there 99% efficiency rating UPS 9395 units, 1100 KVA Now with solar options. Got Green.

  10. William B

    Hetzner anyone?

  11. Fred

    Hetzner doesn't even count here, no support at all...

  12. JC

    Liquidweb has about 35000 servers I think.

  13. I was in TeleCity the other day, I saw Face book servers dotted around, face book and rackspace certainly are still doing well

  14. Ed

    The recent Rackspace Finiancial Report shows they now have 840,00 servers. Also would love to know iweb, peer1, LiquidWeb, Joyent as well.

  15. Philip

    Akamai stats 2012: 108,000+ servers 1,100+ networks 2050 locations 80 countries 5+ Tbps daily traffic 17+ million hits per second 30+ petabytes/day ~30% of daily global web traffic Question: I do miss Terremark in this list. Or is this already counted under the umbrella of Verizon?

  16. Im inclined to think it must be Google or Facebook but i guess this is such a changing situation as the internet grows so quickly who really knows!!??

  17. Interesting but...

    Taken from Wikipedia, at BlueGene article: "A Blue Gene/Q system called Sequoia was delivered to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) beginning in 2011 and was fully deployed in June 2012. It is part of the Advanced Simulation and Computing Program running nuclear simulations and advanced scientific research. It consists of 96 racks (comprising 98,304 compute nodes with 1.6 million processor cores and 1.6 PB of memory) covering an area of about 3,000 square feet (280 m2).[36] In June 2012, the system was ranked as the world's fastest supercomputer." So how to we count this in number of "servers"? 96 (racks), 98,304 (computer nodes), or 1,600,000 (processor cores)? And that is only one machine... that has been delivered to only one customer ;-) Unless you really explain what the list is measuring and what is a "server", it has no actual signification. It's funny anyway.

  18. michel

    I think OVH must be updated 400K in Beauharnois QC Canada 400K in Gravelines France

  19. robins gupta

    what about baidu .

  20. morgen

    Ebay now published their numbers. Here: http://dse.ebay.com/

  21. Ryan Malayter

    Not to rain on the parade, but the overwhelming majority of GOOG or MSFT or facebook servers are NOT web servers. They are likely database servers running the back-end for the massive search and applications, or "file" servers handling distributed file systems. You can't really compare apples-to-apples here, as the actual applications in use on these servers vary wildly. For example, the HPC clusters are really storage and compute servers with up to 100K servers. They undoubtedly have some form of web front-end for job management, so do those count too? They are backing a web application after all. If you don't count those, how can you count most of GOOG or MSFT or Facebook machines?

  22. Ignacio

    Cloudflare?

  23. Fred

    Now, how many VM servers are they running?

  24. This Survey is Awesome (Microsoft has more than 1 million servers, according to CEO Steve Ballmer) We are Microsoft Certified Partners.

  25. xMachineC0r3x

    i doubt any of them give you real behind the scene numbers