How Amazon Works

By Deane Barker on December 27, 2008

HowStuffWorks “Amazon Technology”: This is a well-written article about the behemoth that is Amazon. I’m linking to the second of six pages, since the first page is just fluff. Page two digs right in:

The massive technology core that keeps Amazon running is entirely Linux-based. As of 2005, Amazon has the world’s three largest Linux databases, with a total capacity of 7.8 terabytes (TB), 18.5 TB and 24.7 TB respectively. The central Amazon data warehouse is made up of 28 Hewlett Packard servers, with four CPUs per node, running Oracle 9i database software.

The data warehouse is roughly divided into three functions: query, historical data and ETL (extract, transform, and load — a primary database function that pulls data from one source and integrates it into another). The query servers (24.7 TB capacity) contain 15 TB of raw data in 2005; the click history servers (18.5 TB capacity) hold 14 TB of raw data; and the ETL cluster (7.8 TB capacity) contains 5 TB of raw data.

And don’t forget Obidos.

This information comes on the heel of Amazon reporting its best Christmas season ever. On December 15, it was selling 73 items per second.

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