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Grid, redundancy, and home-cooked management tools help site survive

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Storage Networking World (SNW) -- A rapidly growing business is obviously a CEO's dream, but it's not necessarily a lot of fun for the IT staff, as e-commerce site eBay's Paul Strong found out when he joined the Website a year ago.

Strong, eBay's distinguished research scientist, told attendees at SNW today: "We experience what every business wants -- exponential growth. Businesses love when the graph goes up and to the right, but it's every IT person's nightmare. Our scale may be extreme, but most of you will eventually feel this type of pain."

Extreme is putting it mildly. eBay has 212 million registered users and draws 1 billion page views and 26 billion SQL queries in a typical day. The site averages nearly 6,000 SQL transactions per second per database and hits 16,000 during peak times.

To handle that, eBay has 13 discrete SANs -- each dedicated to a particular quality of service. Its data centers have 2 Pbytes of raw storage, 8,000 SAN ports, 700 SAN-connected hosts, and more than 100 database clusters. eBay adds 10 Tbytes and 75 LUNs per week.

Ninety-five percent of eBay's storage is on SANs, with email, messaging, and fixed content on NAS.

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