We weren't ready for the answer when we asked that question of Michael Gordon, cofounder and chief strategy officer of Limelight Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: LLNW), which brought down $130 million in new funding in 2006 and is, with Akamai Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: AKAM), leading the white-hot market for content delivery networks (CDNs) worldwide. (See Content Delivery Takes the Limelight in '06.)
Gordon told us: "Our server infrastructure is almost entirely Intel-based... We have no SAN or NAS."
It's true. Limelight's network, which costs upwards of $50 million to create, includes its own optical backbone, runs in all the major Internet hubs and colocation facilities worldwide, and sustains 10-Gbit/s internally, does not use any high-performance SAN, terabyte NAS, clustering, or virtualization.
Instead, the storage for its "many, many thousands" of servers is housed on home-grown Intel boxes with mostly SATA drives. These custom-built boxes are positioned strategically in the network to ensure that songs, videos, and other frequently-requested content is cached closest to where it's needed. Together, they act as a "storage layer" for the massive Limelight network.