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Report: Amazon Cloud Backed By 450,000 Servers 45

1sockchuck writes "How many servers does it take to power Amazon's huge cloud computing operation? A researcher estimates that Amazon Web Services is using at least 454,400 servers in seven data center hubs around the globe. The analysis suggests up to 70 percent of those servers may be in Virginia."
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Report: Amazon Cloud Backed By 450,000 Servers

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 15, 2012 @09:22AM (#39362979)

    So, first off, the guy who came up with this number made a ridiculous number of assumptions with no real evidence to back them up, so the number is completely meaningless. Also, from TFA:

    Liu then applied an assumption of 64 blade servers per rack – four 10U chassis, each holding eight blades – to arrive at the estimate.

    Now, I might have to go dig out my TI-82 to doublecheck, but I think I see a small flaw in this math.

  • by jtseng ( 4054 ) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @09:36AM (#39363117)

    What about their support infrastructure? I don't care about the physical locations, but I'm wondering about how many UPS banks do they have? How many primary power feeds do they have to each location? How long do the diesel generators last? Electrical transformers? As a customer, I'm not just concerned about scalability and capability - I want to make sure my presence is always available too!

  • um (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ILongForDarkness ( 1134931 ) on Thursday March 15, 2012 @01:35PM (#39366931)

    No still a guess. From the blog he says he can only discover a rack if he managed to get a instance on it. So yes there might be racks that he never sees (for example I'm sure Amazon reserves some racks for themselves) but also he is assuming that the rack is full if he sees it. As well he is assuming he is right that the networking is done on a per rack manner for all the datacentres. Who knows different datacentres might do it differently (for example maybe europe only has half the servers of a US based datacentre but to keep the number of vlans the same they split the racks in half and only use the first half of the /22 IPs, maybe Amazon has a crap load of racks half full because they haven't gotten around to installing all the equipment, are in the middle of a hardware refresh, debating on having NAT or compute chassis in the available space etc. The only way to have a reasonable idea is to knock on the door and ask them. If they answer they "might" be telling you the truth But "researching" from the outside? You have know idea what you are looking at.

No problem is so large it can't be fit in somewhere.