What nine of the world’s largest websites are running on

Have you ever wondered what technology some of the really big websites use? The likes of Digg, YouTube, Myspace and so on?

There is a very interesting website called High Scalability that is dedicated to, as they put it themselves, “building bigger, faster, more reliable websites.” They collect information about the architecture of high-traffic websites to serve as examples to others.

Underlying technology breakdown

We used some of the data from High Scalability to create a table with the OS, web server, scripting language and database used by nine of the largest websites in the world.

The ones we selected were Flickr, YouTube, PlentyOfFish, Digg, TypePad, LiveJournal, Friendster, MySpace, Wikipedia.

Underlying technology for high-traffic websites

Quick Overview

OS: Linux 7 – Windows 2
Web server: Apache 7 – IIS 2 – Lighttpd 2
Scripting: PHP 4 – Perl 4 – ASP.NET 2 – Python 1 – Java 1
Database: MySQL 7 – SQL Server 1 (possibly 2)

Five of the sites use Memcached, a memory caching system originally developed by LiveJournal that has become a popular way to ease the load on for example databases.

Note that not all information at the High Scalability website is complete (but it’s still a great resource).

Finding out more

If you want to read more about these websites, we highly recommend that you head on over to High Scalability. They have a thorough breakdown of the architecture and design choices for each one.

If you are interested in how some other large websites, such as Feedburner, YouSendIt, iStockPhoto and Meebo are built up, take a look at a survey we (Pingdom) made back in February 2007.

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