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By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2006-10-27 Print this article Print

Becoming a trusted eBay supplier is not an easy task, according to Strong. "It takes a long time for a company to prove itself enough for us to use them," Strong said. "There is a great deal of testing that goes on before we selected a vendor, for anything." The storage environment is modular in design, so to add incremental storage containers or servers is a merely difficult—but not daunting—exercise.
"However, we really hesitate to add new brands of software and hardware, if possible," Strong said. "Wed love to be in a position where everything appears homogenous, so that it minimizes the skill sets our engineers need."
eBay home-cooks some of its own software to use within its system—customized specifically for the online auction/sales environment and eBays unique business needs, Strong said. eBays structure is, according to Strong:
  • highly distributed
  • the auction site is Java-based; the search infrastructure is written in C++
  • have hundreds of developers, all working on the same code
To keep scaling with the growth of the business, Strong said eBay uses:
  • Centralized Application Logging, a scalable platform for logging fine-grained application information
  • Global billing: real-time integration with a third-party package
  • Business event streams: a unifying technology for efficient and reliable message queues. Cookie-cutter patterns are used within the system for optimal user experience
  • Reliable multicast infrastructure: allows for distributed analysis of massive amounts of data and keeps the companys growing search infrastructure up to date.
When it comes to handling all that traffic, Strong said the worlds time zones provide a kind of natural "load-balancer." "When were busiest here in the U.S., thats generally when Europe [the second-largest region using eBay] is asleep—and vice versa," Strong said. "Although we have surges now and then, the natural divide between the two continents works well for us." Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on enterprise and small business storage hardware and software.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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