microsoft's web site (can you say volume?)

Joseph R. Kiniry (
Thu, 10 Apr 97 23:57:04 -0800

i was starting to arrange some software and what-not in the
lab earlier tonight (i.e. start to set up a evil-empire
server) and i found that i couldn't connect to m$ because
their site was too busy.

now, i thought to myself, this either means that they have
smaller pipes than i thought, or they are so amazingly busy
that i just want to quit my field again.

guess what the right answer is?

let's just put it this way: for sprint's entire internet
service product we were only using _one_ DS3 (initially) to
serve up to 1.25 millions users (not concurrently, mind you).

micro$oft is using _eight_ just for their web pages...

oh, and i also learned how they generate so much _content_,
they have over 300 people who just do web stuff...




Web Content Servers
14 _Compaq_ Proliant 5000 series computers serve as's http servers. Each computer has 4 p6 _Intel_
processors and 512 Megabytes (MB) of Random Access Memory (RAM). content consists of 8 Gigabytes of HTML, office
documents, and _free downloads_. The 14 servers are on two FDDI LANs
(100 megabits per second) which are connected to the Internet via 8
DS3 circuits (45 Megabits per second). The servers each run
_Windows NT Server 4.0_ and _Internet Information Server 3.0_.

Search Servers
Three servers are reserved solely for general site searching as
well as for searching the Microsoft Knowledge Base. These servers
are _Compaq_ Proliant series 4500 machines with 4 p166 processors
and 512 MB RAM. They use _Microsoft Index Server_, version 1.1 and
each server receives an average of 150 search requests per minute.

Software Download Servers
The servers also have dedicated software download
machines at their disposal. There are two dedicated ftp servers and
three dedicated Web servers that do nothing but provide users with
dedicated machines to download the ~2 gigabytes of free software
that Microsoft makes available on the Internet. These five machines
are complemented by seven servers throughout the United States as
well as 113 servers around the world in 51 countries.

Database Server
One SQL server currently handles all SQL applications on The SQL Server has 750+ SQL based applications
and is running _Windows NT Server 4.0_ and _SQL Server 6.5_. There
is an average of 300 SQL connections to this SQL server at any point
during peak business hours. The SQL server is a _Compaq_ series
4500 quad p166 with 512 MB RAM and is connected to the web servers
via a DS3 (45 megabits per second) circuit.

Joseph R. Kiniry
Distributed Objects Research  Distributed Objects & Systems Solutions 
Graduate Student, Caltech                  Founder, metaGenesis, Inc.